Thursday, 17 August 2017

Clown and doll

Once there lived an orange clown
in a white house on a hill.
The puppet man who ruled the world
spied his foe, the china doll.

‘They’re going after Jefferson
one day they will get me too.’
He shouted at at the hapless toy
‘And so you Goddam freak: fuck you!’

The doll’s skin was like porcelain
his pursed lips like a cupid’s bow.
He liked to taunt the harlequin
on who would rule the puppet show

‘Your words don’t mean shit to me
or your fucking rodeo.
Fuck your white supremacy
I’m gonna fucking kill you bro.’

The angry clown snarled back in pain.
‘Now I’m getting mad,’ said he.
‘Your word are very threatening.
It’s me who who runs this nursery!

‘I’m gonna make it bad for you
hotter than Kardashian
meaner than a rattlesnake
fire like you’ve never seen!’

The harlequin laughed maniacally.
‘Whose the fucking loser now?
Come on boys, let’s lock and load.
Seriously, we’re good to go.’

The china doll was calm and still
despite the wailing sirens' sound
heaping morsels on his plate
hidden safely underground.

He did not fear the puppet man
or his weird orange glow.
He listened as a city burned
in a bunker far below.

Thursday, 10 August 2017


Please do not blame me for being old.
My life just happened, like gravity.
The apple that falls from the tree
slowly loses its brilliance.
Each moment should be savoured and yet
it is good for us to remember
that the past is actually still there –
the mind chooses what to forget.
How we feel now is how we felt.
Wet fur, the scent of lavender
the leather and dust of an old car
are offered on time’s conveyor belt
unburdening us from mere chronology.
The present lives in our memory.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Please do not blame me for being old

Please do not blame me for being old.
The apple falls from the tree.
It just happened. It was like gravity.

Once, spinning in euphoria
I rode on everything.
The horizon did not interest me.

My years are like your seconds.
Decades passed. It was not meant.

You rise, slowly, to the top
of the Big Dipper. And then ... the descent.

While I was not looking
my life seemed to fall away.

The sounds and colours that are strange to you
once were a novelty

Please do not blame me for being old.
It just happened. It was like gravity.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The cheaper sort

At the moment things are hot
They’ve made me lose my job: what rot

Oh the rank indignity
Sajid Javid who is he?

How dare he dish the dirt on me
I said to him just wait and see

The plebs’ attention span is short
All they want is fags and sport

Give it a week, or maybe two
And they’ll have over things to do

But no, he wouldn’t wait a bit
He’s stitched me up that little git

I said to him, what’s all this for?
We’ve heard this bolshie talk before

All that ghastly tenant power
We tarted up their sodding tower

Sprinklers and a fire test!
They’ll be wanting gold bars next!

Designer labels, super cars
Fine cuisine and cocktail bars

They are plebs, why should they be
Living in royal K and C?

Lazy beggars on the lam
Send them up to Birmingham!

I was at the Treasury
And Cambridge University

You don’t get to the PM’s door
By wasting money on the poor

So why all the sodding fuss?
More for them means less for us

I need my rural liberty
And life in Surrey don’t come free

Fox hunting is my favourite sport
The shares this year are falling short

That’s why I did it with no thought
The cladding? Use the cheaper sort

Thursday, 8 June 2017


They must have some kind of life, but who knows
Church on Sunday, cleaning the car, a dog show?

It is one of the mysteries of the office
They reveal less than a goldfish

These people do numbers, not words
Their seeing eye merely records

More piscine than human, they don’t give back
A friendly hello is viewed as an attack

They are like Easter Island statues
Who put them there, who knows?

And why? It’s a complete frigging mystery
Don’t ask them about last night’s TV

To live frozen in silence must be hell
Someone should tell them, work is life as well

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

A clay pipe

For Chris

As news of the invading Dutch fleet 
travelled slowly across the city 
the pipe was snapped by one who is long dead 
and forgotten. A remnant of history.

Sluiced from a storm drain into the river 
bowl and stem were touched by eels
layered in invisible jeopardy
a shifting pavement of slime and nails. 

Years passed. New outrages were observed.
The man who blew out lungfuls of air 
died somewhere and was buried.
At night, the sky thundered with war.

His tiny act went unrecorded.
Each tide brought new whispers and rumours
until one bright London morning 
I found his clay pipe stem, on the foreshore.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Nationwide BS

We're gonna miss it
repossessed. Me and nan
our kid in his vest.

The barbeque from
B&Q, the garden –
weeds are growing through.

The house weren’t mortgaged.
It was me. I swapped my
soul for slavery.

You were the pimp and
I the whore. The thing is
who is paying for

the hundred plays I
never wrote. The music?
Not a fucking note!

You took my dream of
liberty. You bought
my creativity.

You should be punished
for your crimes. Instead you
offer comfy rhymes

soft focus dreams of
what we had. But where
were you when times were bad?

The factories, the shops
closed down. The life sucked
from this hollow town.

We needed help you
walked away and now you
give us poetry.

You wanted us to
be like you. To join
your pin-striped wrecking crew.

Your easy finance
was not free. It bought us

A million loans a
millions cards and 
a million prison yards.

We’re gonna miss it.
Repossessed. Me and nan
our kid in his vest.

The barbecue from
B&Q, the garden
weeds are growing through.

The house weren’t mortgaged.
It was me. I swapped my
soul for slavery.