Sunday, 1 May 2016

The understudy

Heir to a Tweeted conspiracy
Imprisoned in luxury
He is the ultimate understudy
His wife – an accessory

Carefully, we itemise her
He smiles weakly, his hair is thin
Each expression is a metaphor
In nature, he would be the hen
There is almost a tragedy
In his carefully folded poise
Function denies identity
In the illusion of ordinariness
For he is supposed to be like us
Son of a murdered princess

Friday, 29 April 2016

The idle prince



Officialphotographs of Prince William and his family skiing fuelled growing criticismin the British press on Tuesday (March 8) of the "workshy" royal,driven by frustration at his perceived reluctance for a life in the public eye.

With the brave heart of a lion
He watches the sky or scratches his behind
An English Sunday: the smell of roasting venison
Wafts across the solarium
His wife is trying on her new hat
She is part clothes horse part fashion plate
Sometimes the strain of expectation
Shows on her narrow face
One day a Tweet will come
The old man will be gone
The garden looks rather unruly
Should he fly the helicopter?
And the next holiday. Barbados or Monserrat

Do not suppose that it is not a huge burden
To pretend to have a job and to embody luxury
While appearing to be ordinary
Someone must feed the peacocks
And programme the fountains
One day, he’ll have to mow the Home Counties
To say that he, William, is work shy
The understudy to an elderly heir
How unfair! It is no mean thing
To wear the Polo shirt of state
Please do not accuse him of indolence!
It’s a tough job being a prince.
His sole purpose is to wait
 

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Must try harder

It peered warily through the fence
like a stranger at the fair.
As pale as a slum child
it was too weak to climb the stairs.
It displayed itself reluctantly
when it turned up at all.
It needed prompting constantly
and there was no curtain call.
Like an argument that lacked rigour
it was tentative. It drew back.
In short, there was a want of vigour
there was no strength in its attack.
We need to put the food in the larder.
Next year, the sun must try harder.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

My father's clothes (part two)

Why do I dislike so much to dress smartly
Could it be, perhaps, to piss you off?
You barely noticed me anyway
My big days, it seems, were not big enough

Carefully, you avoided the foreground
There was no sense of occasion for you
And yet, often, when I am slopping around
With no shame, splattered with paint and glue

I am touched by our strange similarity
Waiting in the wardrobe, you are still here
I can breathe you in, step into your shadows
Your slowness, the language we did not share

Our arguments have faded into history
You would not have noticed the irony
Of my reluctance to wear smart clothes
You only had one suit, dad. So do I.

I can hear your slow, patient voice
And remember what you showed me
When I am touching a piece of wood
Your old sanding block, boxed up for charity

Saturday, 2 April 2016

The Age of the Unpleasnt

What hell is this, from whence came these towers?
Who toppled them? A poisoned land is ours

The neutered Lion prowls its rusty cage
Excited by the horrors of our age

A rising tide pestilence and war
Sniffing blood, it makes a muted roar

A puffed up chump displays synthetic hair
The faded Eagle riles the angry Bear

Defend our sacred land, the idiot calls
Draw the shutters down, raise up the walls

Give up your life, for it is Nature’s law
the weak must pay the price; the rich need more

Unleashed the pumped up chump spouts sloganry
To rouse the mob with spray tan tyranny

To trade in death, unsheath the Eagle’s claw
Who will defend the stateless and the poor?

Tousled Boris is the chump’s new friend
He’ll prod the Lion for his unworthy end

To whip up hate, a false adversary
To serve the bankers, inequality

His selfish goal to bring the EU down
The dream of Europe shattered by a clown

Pygmies rule the cruel menagerie
Their toxic dream, reversing history

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Hipsters (Watson's General Telegraph)


Like cowboys in a realistic western
you meet in this faded saloon
whose decor is artfully distressed.
to practice your low-light revolution.

In form, you are the new Edwardians.
Like explorers on some Polar expedition
your favourite shades are brown and black.
Your beards are in fashion.

Who would have thought that our grandparents’
furniture would come back to haunt us?
Their antique artifacts, like sepia ghosts
are echoed in the way that you dress.

We knew how to wear their coats
but there was colour in our rebellion.
We tried to drive away their darkness.
We plastered the walls that you stripped back.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

‘Fast’ Eddie's story


That guitar rasps like a smoker’s cough.
It was always in our house, see
and everyone who came in scraped some varnish off
didn’t they. Well, one day
it disappears; it gets half-inched
They put a story in the newspaper
about how it’s been pinched:
‘Local pop group looking for guitar’.
This bloke phones me up about the ‘reward’.
He wants a hundred quid – frigging liberty.
Next thing, someone’s on the doorstep, this bird.
That’s how it came back to me.
That guitar sings to me like Leda’s swan.
Next week, it’s going back up the M1.