Cream Jar Miracle

October 1, 2017
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Have you seen those young women
young women in advertisements
with perfect skin
always had perfect skin
skin that never saw ravage
or the passage of years

like someone such as Yo-Yo Ma
or Eric Clapton or Larry Adler
saying buy this book
and you can learn to play like me

And there they are, young women
with perfect skin
adding some cream
pretending it’s the cream
cream on their perfect skin
that creates their perfect skin

like someone who inherits a fortune
and presents a television programme
that thinks they can be a great President
because that’s what it says
on the tin star – on the cream jar.


Dismantling The Leylandii

June 16, 2017

The conifer gave nothing to the ground
Strong, stable, sucking goodness from the soil
Roots deep spread and undermining
Satisfied only itself, no shelter for a bird,
Its negative needles provided no nutrients
Dropping cones solely to broadcast seed.
In the interest of a better future, I voted to remove it
Wanting something less selfish, with more beauty

I set about the task with meagre tools,
A little chopper and a saw and not to much effect
The chopper was criticised – not up to the job
It’s handle short in grip and seemed scant strength.
The naked tree laughed as those blows glanced off
But with momentum, bark was stripped, wood bared
A chain saw many teeth in huge support
To cut where axe had bitten to the sap

And soon enough the tree fell, trimmed to stump
The little chopper’s marks clear on the fallen boughs
A million needles now were swept aside
Without ceremony, to the brown garden bin,
But still that stump persists, a dense and sturdy block
With nothing to uphold, open to the season,
Thick roots held in place by uneven slab,
A fractured infrastructure of a saddened path.

Tool handles now renewed in strength
I seek to dig away the useless stump
Lifting the slab to make room for a spade
Exposing horrors of a thousand ants
That made their nests in shelter of a tree
Beneath a slab. And dearly do I trust
Those terrors shall now take themselves away
Under fresh truth, dispelling my dismay.

Something deciduous is here required
Something assiduous with outstretched arms
Where birds will sing with unbounded joy
And flowers bloom in Hope’s unfolding cheer
And leaves that, when they fall give richness back
In leaf mold compost added to good earth
Which then supplies abundance to the many
Creatures sharing in Nature’s love and mirth.

Spades Are Not Trumps

February 6, 2017
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Worms hidden
under this blanket of glass fibre
there to protect the ground from weeds,
those wild and unchosen gifts,
a menace to order
in this, his garden.

Free of green fingers
he knows not much
of nature, life and beauty,
just its cost.
Nature is his enemy
he will force it
into his square-eyed plot,
the one he knows
above his coverlet.

On a grand bench
he sits to listen
when flocks twitter
alarm calls in damp air,
He emulates, badly,
truth perceived
in cauliflowered ears.

But larks and tits,
carelessly broadcast seeds
under chipped bark,
germinating, seeking light.
awaiting his retreat,
to the rickety-rackety bridge.

Without turning of the soil,
beneath their glass ceiling
worms wiggle woefully.

Love New Labour’s Lost

September 14, 2015
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Back in the fold, the white sheep stare,

chewing the cud that they always chew,

warm in the wool that they always share,

bleating of goats next door, as they do.


Goats are the winners.  Don’t ask for fair

kind of treatment, just bleatment and butting at you.

They’ve very hard horns and devour what’s spare

and sheep have to keep to the back of the queue.
Hang on a mo!  This is goatland nightmare!

A ram that butts back with its own point of view?

Rams cannot lead – they’re a danger.  Beware!

We’re in it together. Goats have told you.

Keep him at the back, we can laugh at him there.
Hell knows he’ll turn sheep into mincemeat or stew.

Don’t listen to him, he is far too aware.


from where has this crowd of rams come into view?

Uncivil Service

August 16, 2014
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Bills are signed, sealed and dated.
Plans are met, dreams frustrated,
Schemes of war contemplated
By men of grey who fail.

Papers pushed, emails sent,
OBEs paid like rent,
Not for good, not for right.
Consequences out of sight,
Out of mind – not polite.
Such sense would make them pale.

Ticking boxes for their bosses,
Some for gains, others losses.
Daily grinds for clerks’ assistants.
Results are kept at a distance.
Many lives with spoiled existence
Hang from this paper trail.

Assad and Cameron. Is it a double-headed coin?

September 19, 2013
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Assad and Cameron. Is it a double-headed coin?

It always amazes me that British people, despite all the evidence stacked against the tall tales of the political machine like volumes of books against a door, believe them and heave the door open to allow the machinery of the powerful to rush in and instal their little yellow god. But neither Assad nor Cameron will survive. And the reason for that is because their voices are not distinctive. Assad, rather stupidly, has not projected his voice onto the world stage. Cameron, rather unfortunately, has a nondescript voice that will be forgotten as soon as he is ousted.

During the third election of Margaret Thatcher I couldn’t find a single person who would admit to having voted for a Tory government. She would not have been elected for a second term if it hadn’t been for the Argentinians invading The Falkland Islands. Yet there she was, top of the greasy pole once more. A travesty of deceit held over the ordinary women and men of Britain. But her voice resonates in the heads of those who heard it.

Tony Blair was gifted the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. She died so that he could benefit. He always had a flair for opportunism and would have been a great Tory if, when he flipped his political coin, it had given him less manoeuvring to do. But he pulled it off and turned The Labour Party round by scrubbing its working-man’s face and snipping away its braces, by prostitution of Labour principles for a bucket of tar. New Labour had no principles by the time he left office…. ‘bert’ his speech was distinctive.

So now we have a New Labour Party seeking a new role that is kinder to ordinary folk so to grab the attention of ordinary voters and a Liberal Democrat Party that owes its brief fame to an unlikely deal propping up a Conservative Party that couldn’t win an election. A better deal would most certainly have been New Labour and Liberal Democrat but, unfortunately, Gordon Brown did not go a year earlier and at election time was being castrated by his own party.

The Liberal Democrats were formed when David Steel sold the ancient and noble Liberal Party in an effort to give himself a greater power base. An additional five percent of the vote would have made him on a par with the other two major parties, but on the way he lost the faith of solid Liberals and solid Labour/Democrats.

So now we are left with a Tory Party driven by wealth and greed with an occasional sop to the middle classes, and the rest of the political landscape, being a disparate array of rebels railing against the horrors being hurled at them.

Assad is a true blue Tory wielding his various weapons against his own disparate array of rebels. Of course, Cameron doesn’t have the permanence of tenure that Assad is fighting to keep, so the number of ‘his own people’ that he is killing is far less and far more subtly done. But he is acting for and on behalf of those who really don’t give a damn about ordinary human beings as long as it doesn’t impinge on their own lifestyle and their systems that keep them in their luxurious place.

The weapons and the severity of injury they cause are the real differences between Assad and Cameron. The injuries to ordinary Syrians are heavily physical. They are sustained and cruel and as a result over six million have become refugees and thousands have died.

The injuries to ordinary Britons are heavily financial. They are sustained and cruel and as a result thirty million have been moved to struggle against poverty, nearly half a million now seeking assistance from food banks, and hundreds have died. One third of all UK children now live in poverty and in some cities it is almost half the children.

The University of Bristol’s “Poverty and Social Exclusion” project published, earlier this year, ‘The Impoverishment of the UK’ report. Here are some of its findings:

Over 30 million people (almost half the population) are suffering some degree of financial insecurity;
Almost 18 million people cannot afford adequate housing conditions;
Roughly 14 million cannot afford one or more essential household goods;
Almost 12 million people are too poor to engage in common social activities considered necessary by the majority of the population;
About 5.5 million adults go without essential clothing;
Around 4 million children and adults are not properly fed by today’s standards;
Almost 4 million children go without at least two of the things they need;
Around 2.5 million children live in homes that are damp;
Around 1.5 million children live in households that cannot afford to heat their home.

Thank you Nick Clegg for ameliorating the public suffering with a few extra school meals. How long before you realise that you are a simple stooge?

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.’

While The Irony is Hot

April 6, 2012
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The idiots who run the world engaged our full support.
We voted them to perfect power to do the things we sought
When we put crosses onto slips instead of putting noughts,
And gave them rein to mess our lives with governmental sports.

And those of us with loads of dosh invested in the banks
Have sent a clear message of gratitude and thanks
By saying yes to obscene pay and obscene bonuses
Or saying nothing when it’s clear where the onus is.

So don’t let’s talk of blaming them for being total prats
And don’t let’s fight between ourselves like spitting, scratching cats
In fact, let’s not do anything that only involves talk
Let’s write and email straight to them and go on protest walks

And when we’ve walked our socks off and found nobody cares
Let’s stop our paying taxes, stop our buying wares
From places with no honesty, integrity or ethics
And strike, Strike! sisters, brothers strike like something chronic.