by time’s brassrubbing
into something it can recognise
without those edges
those words slicing sharpness that
it can never
curve the smooth rumba past
the dead are slowly worn
as memories are sanded down
he tripped in kfc
milkshake lava slowmo foaming
then staff erupting
sprouting buckets, mops, signs and smiles
tackling this vast disaster
fretting milkshake from the grouting
‘do I get another milkshake?’
I’m still waiting there to order
while they’re making molehills
into milkshake mordor mountains.
black and white cat
set waiting on the child high wall
furred flat by sun.
a young boy’s scream
‘that cat scared me!’
registered, is unacknowledged.
an eyelid raises
a claw sighting
then slowmo droops
slides to the lock position.
she’ll get him on his way back.
the coffee shops
nurse these empty bears
smoking to themselves outside
to eat the time
fretting worry beads
through fast fingers
as the sun proceeds to set
sweating a drop
down the sky’s dry face
pulling the blind
on their patient will
I think of you at 1am
when heat can’t get to sleep
will not rest till the rain’s come home.
You’re a call to the head.
I have no voicemail there.
On Radio Four a man is telling
a story about a spider in a tower
who only speaks the language of itself
can never learn another.
A man climbs the tower.
He knows only the language of shoes
or so I remembered,
as I fell asleep at this point
sweated hot rain
dreamt of someone else.
I had a poem published in Ink, Sweat and Tears this morning. IS&T is an online magazine which has been running for some years ago, most recently with Helen Ivory at the helm.
‘you have to eat’ is one of a series of poems I have written about my mother over a period of some years. I’m thinking I might see how they fit as a collection, although that wasn’t really the intention when I first started writing them. A few have been published in various places, so it might be worth looking into.
Please visit IS&T and have a wander round. Some more of my stuff is in the archives but there’s an awful lot of quality poetry in there too.
All these people clumping from the station
In a line like synchopated elk
grumping to their workstalls
where they treadle
at the fingerpedal
with each other.
They bounce a sound that rattles down the archways
the heartbeat of the pavement in the
a splashing drum
it calls the fish into the net
thrumming out the beckon
on the streetskin
come! come! come!
her mouth shredding truth into a mic
so bizzy men can build a synthesis of what she means
which is more than we ever could.
They’ve got smart tech
to knead her verbal dough
until it rises into stuff of sense.
They should do those in Argos.
The clicking mouse will nibble
at her logic
slake their appetites for fact.
Reams of words spread over their sheets
like blood at a crime scene waiting
for a trend analyst
to plot trajectories
from a sine word parabola
so bizzy men can tick their boxes
clean and faultless
as a bright machine.
They’ll let her out
The Fast Cat Baristas from Nant Y Ffrith
The Fast Cat Baristas from Nant Y Ffrith,
Crad From The Prefabs and Simple Keith.
They said they’d been homeless and slept in a cave
between the Nags Head and Elihu Yale’s grave.
They said they’d lived rough, made some drums out of soap
that they’d pinched from the gentlemen’s toilet in Hope,
and had fashioned a mandolin out of a riddle
with the ponch from a dolly tub nailed down the middle.
Jools Holland saw them on Youtube one day
While taking green tea with Jamiroquai’s Jay.
He was touched by their tale of cold nights and starvation,
and how they’d wound up in a Welsh reservation.
They were slaves to the English and forced to make jam
for Jeremy Clarkson and live in a pram
until they were rescued by Bono and Sting
who lured Clarkson away with a pie on a string.
Jools Holland welled up at their plight and their woe
and gave them a slot on his Hootenanny show.
They did ‘Smoke on The Water’, ‘Mull of Kintyre’,
and a Slade song tapped out with a chip pan and fryer.
So Crad From The Prefabs and Simple Keith,
The Fast Cat Baristas from Nant-Y-Ffrith
were thrust into stardom. There wasn’t a week
they weren’t taking green tea with the drummer from Chic.
It didn’t last long though. A man from The Leader
had a chat in The Turf with young Keith’s Auntie Freda.
‘They weren’t homeless at all,’ she said, ‘lived with their mams’
I know ’cause they nicked number twenty-two’s pram
to rattle in time with that Boney M song
they did with Jake Bugg and the bassist from Gong.’
And it didn’t take long for Bono and Sting
to disprove the thing about pie on a string.
They’d been saving rare limpets in Clacton-On-Sea
while taking green tea with Sinead and Jay-Z
and couldn’t have rescued young Keith and young Crad.
Clarkson just tweeted ‘The Welsh are all mad.’
So Crad From The Prefabs and Simple Keith
Went back to their mams in Nant-Y-Ffrith.
Jools Holland blocked them on Facebook and Twitter
while the drummer from Chic just broke down and got bitter,
wailed on Loose Women of lies and deceit
till they cut to an item on Problems with Feet.
Janet Street Porter gave him some water
And he helped to make quiche with Rick Astley’s daughter.
The Fast Cat Baristas aren’t seen any more
except sometimes on ‘RudeTube’ or BBC Four.
But nobody watches those anyway so
they’ve just ceased to exist, like they lived in Caego.
Keith will not speak to ‘that cow’ Aunty Freda
Not after she married the Man from the Leader.
He works for The Sun now. They live in Gobowen
and have lots of Brexit friends coming and going.
Crad’s not too fussed though. He told me last week
he was ‘sick up to here with that drummer from Chic’,
and apart from all that he was never too keen
on tea with no milk and no sugar… and green.