Hating Her Life

April 29, 2012
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Waiting for life to begin
she sat picking at the rough edge
of the ruler, hating Maths;

sat in the window-seat in Chemistry
wrapping and unwrapping the litmus paper,
scraping the rubber tubing
with a painted fingernail,
hating Mr Thorsby;

sat sketching a fruit bowl in Art,
poking holes in the dog-eared corner,
hating Lakeland Pencils;

sat in the back row in History
filling in the o’s and the e’s in the chapter
on the Relief of Ladysmith,
hating South Africans;

sat in Geography contemplating
the pointlessness of oxbow lakes,
hating the school.

In Games she scored three goals
and brought her hockey stick
full in the face of Mandy Smith,
hating the stuck-up bitch!


No Difference

April 28, 2012
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Makes no difference
Do what you wish
The outcome will be the same –
Worry, fret, agitate, anger
It has no effect in the end
He said
Not realising that
The flap of a butterfly’s wing
In Rhyl
May lead to a storm
In the Azores
No difference to the butterfly, still.

Water Muse

April 27, 2012
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Between the roof tiles by the skylight
Soft, insinuating waters squeeze
Through to afternoon kitchen rafters
Trickling through with consummate ease

Saturating wood with daring stains
They separate to slight suicidal globes
That fall innocuously in quiet slaps and plops
That minuet the plastic of the sink bowl
Striking in strict tempo on enamel
Tarantellas onto two chrome taps

Mingling again haphazardly
Each droplet joins its myriad team
The army invincible that overwhelms
Returning surreptitious to the earth

Like Shakespeare’s clouds of words
That pound down rafters of years
Through tiles of generations
On into each thinking brain

Out of Words

April 24, 2012

I’m running out of words,
My word-bag’s nearly empty
I used to have a plethora
I used to have so… plenty

The words would tumble out of me
I’d carpet rooms and halls
With baskets full of verbiage
And paste them on the walls

But life can play some rotten tricks
You wake up one fine day
And all your words have leaked out
And they’ve up and run away

I used them on the Internet
And filled up stacks of floppies
I can’t get floppies on this thing
They’re dead.
I’ll scatter poppies.

The Story of St George

April 23, 2012
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The Emperor Diocletian was a harsh and mean man.
He didn’t like Christians. Persecutions began.
George was a Christian, and a tribune (or colonel).
He complained to Diocletian at his actions infernal.
“How dare you!” said the Emperor, and locked him in jail,
But George was a proper Christian, his faith didn’t fail
They tortured him and beat him till he felt almost dead,
Then they dragged him to the town square and cut off his head.

Alexandria was impressed by George – and she was Diocletian’s wife!
She very soon became a Christian for the rest of her life
Which may have been a very long time, but the Emperor wasn’t chilled.
In fact he was really angry, so he had his wife killed.
It might seem a gory story but it’s true enough to make you faint
And that’s how George became a martyr and why we call him Saint

He’s the patron saint of Moscow too, and of Georgia and of Aragon,
And also of Catalonia where, of chivalry, he is the paragon.
We’ve heard how he killed a dragon and ended the town’s woes,
And when he did he saved a princess, and he gave her a rose.
So Englishmen, on St. George’s Day, give a rose, your love to tell,
And Englishwomen, give your beau a book to mark Will Shakespeare’s day as well.

It Shows

April 22, 2012
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I could buy you a mansion, or big diamond rings,
a trip to a worldful of fabulous things
I could take you to places where big money flows
but if I don’t know you then it shows.

Two dozen roses may sweeten your heart
to think that I’m smitten, this may be the start
of a great big affair I’m the one that you chose
but if I don’t cherish your wishes it shows.

I’ll say that I love you with big demonstrations
forgetting a birthday or some celebration
that means a great deal. That’s the value of woes.
For if I don’t make you number one, then it shows.

Red Creation

April 21, 2012

A bead of blood like a small balloon
Swells from the tiny cut
Slides in a gentle rivulet
Down the wrist and around
To drip, drip, drip
On the cool paper.

Three drops in a row
Sitting red on palest yellow
Secretly soaking, staining
Slowly becoming a mere smudge
of triplet circles, mingled.

One pain, three drops, one smudge
A trinity.
My blood is in this poem
This free perverse poem.

The MP and the Banker

April 21, 2012
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The MP and the banker were walking close at hand
They wept in happiness to see the systems work so grand
If this were messed about, they said, we’d cream it, if we planned.

If seven lords and seven profs studied it half a year
Do you suppose,’ the PM said, ‘They’d render it unclear?’
‘I’ll work it out,’ the banker said, and had another beer.

‘O voters, come and vote for us!’ the MP did beseech.
A pleasant talk, a voting slip, and you can hear my speech
We’ll start with all the smarter ones to indoctrinate – er – teach.

The eldest voter looked at him, but never said a word:
The eldest voter eyed him up as if he were absurd
Meaning he’d fallen for that one, and thought he was a turd

But four young voters hurried up, all eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed, their shoes were clean and neat —
And this was odd – they had no cash to buy them on the street!

Four other voters followed them, and yet another four;
And thick and fast they came, (they hadn’t seen it all before)
All hopping through the metal chairs and scrambling ‘cross the floor.

The MP and the banker span their web an hour or so,
Then stopped for wine and canapés (allowed expense you know)
And all the little voters stood and went without, below.

The time has come,’ the banker said, for quantitative easing
You thought life would be easier, well… we were only teasing
It’s difficult, but pigs with wings won’t fly without some squeezing

A second home,’ the MP said, ‘is what we chiefly need:
Jobs for nobs and nepotism are very good indeed —
And somebody must pay for all this undisputed need.’

But please not us!’ the voters cried, turning a little blue.
‘After we gave you power, that’s a dismal thing to do!’
The cash is mine,’ the banker said. ‘I can loan it to you’.

It was so kind of you to vote, and you are very nice!’
And the MP said nothing but ‘Cut us in on your price:
We’ll drop your tax to forty-five percent, will that suffice?’

It seems a shame,’ the MP said, to play them such a trick,
After we’ve tempted them with lies, and made them look so thick!’
The banker didn’t say a word but ‘Don’t be such a prick!’

I weep for you,’ the MP said: ‘It’s not because we won,
But rioting will never do and striking is no fun
So bear with us, we’re doing what we knew when we begun.’


April 19, 2012
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Drifting. Eyes closed to all events,
all promise unfulfilled since toast and marmalade
all Damoclesian threats parked in bays of morning,
all awaiting the thrill of daybreak
like the day, now eaten up, now slaked,
that promised with its own juice in turn, in turn.

The fall into darkness, into zero
No clock inside, no handle on time
as blank night seeps through thoughts and memories
flooding the soul with a shell of absence.

Aware of a presence, I awoke in dark,
saw a paper chain of men in white,
daggers in a hand of each,
advancing toward the foot of my bed!
In terror I raised my torso and reached
reached for the light-pull overhead
and the white light blanked the men… to nothing

Settling to sleep again,
leaving the light on to damn the terror
Aware of a presence, I woke in lightness,
a paper chain of men in black,
daggers in a hand of each,
advancing toward the foot of my bed!
In terror I raised my torso and reached
reached for the light-pull overhead
and the black night blanked the men… to nothing

Settling to sleep again,
leaving the light on to damn the terror
Aware of a presence, I woke in darkness,
paper chain of men in stripes,
daggers in a hand of each,
advancing toward the foot of my bed!
In terror I raised my torso and reached
reached for the light-pull overhead
and the white light flipped the white stripes
into black stripes as they advanced
and the light-pull flipped the black to white
and white to black as they advanced
black and white and white and black, as they advanced

As I fell from the bed and awoke,
in sweat in the peaceful dark

And reached…

The Argument

April 18, 2012
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I am insufferable.
I am sure that’s what you think.
You know the valid truth of what you say
And how would I know different anyway?

I’m pig-headed.
The immovable object
That the irresistible force has failed to budge
To the truth in your superior knowledge.

I am a thorn.
I pricked your finger, made it bleed.
The sweet-smelling rosebush that looked so prim
Now tainted with the blood of your punctured skin

I will be slain.
The evidence you need, obtained
And held up for the modern world to see
How hideously wrong I’m proved to be.

But I care not!
You may be right or wrong.
The irrelevance of that is plainly visible.
Your reaction to my plain words is risible.

I weep inside.
I see your wrenching torment.
And understand much more than you can realise,
Your pain is deeper than you even yet surmise.

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