Poems 2016

Salvation

He always made doughnuts
Thousands of them
Alongside doughnut lassies

Sugar, lard, eggs, milk (evaporated)
Water flour, baking powder, salt
Ground nutmeg

Amongst mortars, mines, lead (assorted)
Wire, weapons, water and blood
Ground spirits

For bellies that lay flat on scorched earth
For mouths drained by oaths and fear
Watching as the Pain Cars inched by

While we mother hens and chicks
Wove in Nests, precious care parcels
With eager hands and keen intent

Shirts, pants, socks, chocolate,
Soap, paper, stationery
Home ground

Before exhausted souls staggered
Yellowed munition hands begging
For charity at home

But Beth never ate our doughnuts
She waited for one from the front
Made specially for her.

Abandonment

You deserted us, for You Tube illusions and an easy life
Made by others
You lined the pockets of our tormentors to make them strong
And us weak
You let others do the fighting for you
While you rest, and are fed.
The women who bore you, the old men who taught you
Look on, in despair
As our girls are preyed upon, and the fields lie unplanted
Those too sick to move plead for  our aggressors’ compassion
In the absence of yours
Our dignity, our beliefs are not worth your struggle
Leaving those least able, to do the most.
Our future disappears over the horizon
As you leave us condemned to live the past.
If you had built fences rather than try to scale them
If you had bravely faced the enemy – as you faced the sea
We would be together now, pride intact.
Instead you beg for yourselves there
While the old, the sick, young mothers and children
Lie abandoned here.

The Journey

Uttoxeter

Stoke

Manchester

Liverpool

Bolton

Blackburn

Blackpool

Preston

Lancaster

Kendal

Penrith

Carlisle

Gretna Green

Lockerbie

Hamilton

Glasgow

Cumbernauld

Stirling

Bannochburn

Dunblane

Auchterarder

Perth

Pitlochry

Aviemore

Culloden

Inverness

Cromarty Firth

Cairngorms

Braemar

Ullapool

Stornoway

 

 

The Blue Men of the Minch 

Gliding, their lithe forms wait silently

For the foolish and the hapless

Sentinels, guardians of the deep, they be,

 

When calm, as male mermaids they rest and play

Shadowy shapes, just out of reach, jostling

Jousting, watching, benign and fey.

Some say they were Picts, daubed in that hue

Others that they were Viking slaves in costume blue

But wherever was their place, whatever was their station

They now patrol in eternal damnation.

 

For their quarry to leave Loch Broom

And the Westerlies to arrive drawn by the Moon

So they can leap from feisty foam

Storm Kelpies rising in the spray

To hunt their prey to have their say

Their price for mercy from the brine

Is , when challenged, for Captains to respond in rhyme

And if  Blue Men do not catch

A couplet whose words just do not match

As the sea horses rear, and the wind doth blow

So their captives, they drag below

From their duty they never flinch

The dreaded Blue Men of the Minch.

 

For Sheila

 

You will walk with me no more on these streets which held so much promise

Once. Long ago.

I want to tell you about Stephen, and James

I want you to smile at what I did not appreciate, but do now

I want you to tell me that it is okay to buy that coat- and that you like it.

I want you to say that Portobello has become good again- and aren’t the  garlic breads big?

How I wish you were irritating Sarah by advising her on Stanley’s child care. He’s a bonny boy.

How I wish that fate had not dealt you such a cruel hand

Things are going on as if nothing had happened- it’s the way, isn’t it?

You would have liked Paphos.

I have changed the hall and bedroom

You wouldn’t like it

The Potteries

Made here

Pots and porc’lain

Fashioned by nimble hands

Wedgewood found fame amongst the smoke

In Stoke


 

Bright glare blazed outside

Patio bricks oozing heat

Our Saturday treat

Dan Yr Coed

 

Where Red Kites soar

No strings attached

And the Severn turns about face

A place, between

 

Where earthly things are ruined

In rubble and dry locks

And the hills hover,

Watching, and waiting

 

Where time is measured in rising falling light

Not the sweep of a second hand

And the rain hesitates

For a moment.

 

Dave

 

A politicians peccadilloes  are a wonder to behold

Particularly those from the privileged, Eton and oxford fold

On a night out

Those from the compo’s , might play with a traffic cone or two

Placed on the head, thrown over the hedge, or used as a temporary loo

But the Galveston club, is somewhat more refined

It is where the toffs, and the young gentry, dine

And although Dave likes sleek Sam in high heels, how she totters!

He’s also quite partial to a set of hairy pink trotters

Those big luscious  lips, the fetching curly tail

Makes something in Dave’s libido, start to whine and wail

And if it grunts nicely making him feel the special one

He’ll whip his own sausage out for a bit of porcine tongue

When this was reported it was dismissed as porky pies

But the great British public knows its swine and how to take the rise

He hogged the headlines, all else stopped, even Jeremy became a boar

Whilst facebook and twitter put their snouts in the trough, foraging for more and more

Now his actions may have been ham fisted, but his intentions I am sure were pure

Let us just hope that as PM that his thoughts have now been cured

 

 

 

Le Pen

 

All that it takes is a brush, rushed

 

A choice, to find a voice

 

Or a silencer

 

At a stroke, a line, bullet straight

 

Poised, for the noise

 

Of confusion

 

Expression and repression

 

Pouring automatically from the muzzle

 

Escaping, leaking ink, distorting

 

Born free, yet chained

 

This is my truth, tell me yours

 

Of what you can do instead of what you do do

 

Arms linked, fingers crossed

 

Friday Saturday Sunday and Monday Morning

 

I did not hear of it until Sunday morning

Instead slumbering while explosives murmured and air frame metal  snorted

Tuning in, mid-story, is confusing

Who what where when and why?

A bit like being there

Fragments travelling to the nearest body

Yet reaching far beyond

Moments in motion

 

I did not hear of it until Saturday morning

Instead slumbering while Kalashnikovs, murmured and bombs snorted

Tuning in, mid-story, is confusing

Who what where when and why?

A bit like being there

Fragments travelling to the nearest body

Yet reaching far beyond

Moments in motion

 

I did not hear of it until Monday morning

Instead slumbering while Mirages murmured and bombs snorted

Tuning in, mid-story, is confusing

Who what where when and why?

A bit like being there

Fragments travelling to the nearest body

Yet reaching far beyond

Moments in motion

 

I did not hear of it until Friday afternoon morning

Instead working while Kalashnikovs murmured and bombs snorted

Tuning in, mid-story, is confusing

Who what where when and why?

A bit like being there

Fragments travelling to the nearest body

Yet reaching far beyond

Moments in motion

 

 

And I wondered how often this would be repeated

 

You try your best, but despite it all

Yearning for the time before your fall

When a day could be lived without sharp pain

When a night was measured in hours, not minutes

Again and again

Neighbours come and go, with a wave and a cursory smile

“I like your coat they trill- unaware of your guile

But when the front door closes, when the walls come tumbling in

That is when the fear starts of what the day will bring

 

Church

 

I don’t care much for Church

Our Christening Party outnumbered

The congregation many times over

And I wondered who was joining who

 

His robes older than the pews

The vicar conjured bonhomie and boredom

Unfamiliar hymns blared amplified

As if volume was enough to disguise bland dirge

 

There were no notices

Perhaps no-one cared anymore

 

 

 

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