Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Workplace - A Bosnian Tanka

At the edge they stood
Assumed positions as if
It was workplace but
No place for neighbours with guns
To bury neighbours with none

The Godfather of Dole

His language used to be industrial.
Then it were desperate,
Now it's academic.

His heart,
Closed and blackened,
Like the slag-heaped upon
Bits of pits which
Dig bits of
Physical ticks that twitch
And conflagrate
And agitate
The propped nature of
His strong fragility,
His hard sinewed inability
To comprehend,
What they call
The end.

Wheeled monuments
Astride the landscape,
Like rugby league
Heads down grafting,
Huge shoulders strain,
To scrum the earth,
Extract the ball,
Pass it on
From theirs before,
Who've passed it on
From theirs before,
Who'll pass it on
To theirs no more.

Stick a miner's hat on
The policeman’s baton,
The excessive force
From the perspective
Of a skewed directive.
Game no more.
Faith no more.
Work no more.

Red cabbage blood spots
On the grey scale pitch.
Tip buckets filled
For battered pride n’ chips.
Legs set, backs bent,
Arms out for the onslaught.
Give blood,
Play rugby,
Play war.

The crowd that
Engaged and
Doffed caps to
Hand-offs and
Are now enraged,
And off caps for
Hand outs,
For lives back.

This is Northern
Back-breaking music.
This ain't no
Wilson Picket song.
This tune's 33 year-old
Played at 33 revolutions P.M.
By The Godfather of Dole.

Wake up Maggie,
I think I've got something to
Say to you…

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Queen Ham Pop

(All fun in The Sun)

As queens take each other on
Draught style
The most boring Geordie we’ve ever met
Regards the revellers
Middle aged

In t’ times of their lives

Solid types in liquid dresses
Glamorous girls and
Dance floor mixers
Wi’ ‘I’m not gay or owt’ lads
On amyl nitrate to the karaoke
Tongues the texture of suede

In t’ Bradford on the tiles

Between bouncers
Flouncers and nails
Long lashes and fake knockers
The adverts on the telly scroll
Ham Sandwich
Ham Sandwich

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Prize Plum - A Tanka

The Eton tosspot
Politics lecture does fade
Into lunacy
As the plum is popped from the
Gob of this simpering tit

Friday, 7 June 2019

Abutted Toast

Half cut
Points abut
Like council meeting minutes,
Or unlucky sods
Who bump
The big man
On the the way
To the bogs.
In the back of the head
It seems sincere,
But they’re all
Out front
Round here.

For Lviv

In West Ukraine
a blue crane
lifts the barley
from the guts of the town.
In this accident of geography
she found the only puddle in the city
and made one hell of a splash.
Blonde and pleated,
tall and static,
a well trod speaker’s corner
she stood.
Her hometown was a
Bureau de Change
above a laundry room.

She could
not have the patience
of the flower seller.
She did not believe
in the sound of the sea.
The hurricane from the away end
blew the crosses from the hilltops
into her psychology,
blew the fuel from the reservoir
and filled her stomping ground.
Statuesque she daily flung
her concrete words ballistic
against the amassed and fascistic.

To mark the tenth anniversary
of her death,
football scarves were laid.
A small boy all neat and auburn
offered his historiography:

Fuck your vile corrupt 

Spat and turned
Into the café he burst
already old enough to drink
5 star Hararava
lit up his cigarette,
eyeballed the old patriots in the corner
who ran off
handing their beer money
to the beggar woman in the street.
He bowed toward her stomping ground
and sniped:

Never admit defeat!

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Hip Sheep

The man
In the Clapton Tracksuit’s
On the blower
The progressive regressive atmosphere
Here’s no grower
Where a blooming
Girl with the public smile
Describes it for us for a while
All loon clobbered in obvious style
Prescribes it zone 3
2 mile
As much as they need electricity
To power this eccentricity
They google authenticity
On the outskirts of the city
Stroll on
Push through
Don’t pull over
Where provincial hipsters
Move much slower

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Funeral Parlance - A Tanka

Jesus! Came the news
He shot himself in the foot
So he couldn’t have
An open-toed sandal at
His own funeral. Scandal.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

The Fug on the Fringes

The sun was the colour
Of piss on chrome,
Of marigolds in baskets,
Of marigolds in sinks,
Of lager
in the last flat roof pub.
The riotous fug.

Al limped in.
He’d worked in Bloomsbury,
before the concrete set in.
There was a moment
When 50% cotton,
50% polyester,
Felt like silk on skin.
He was made of XS,
But took a XL knock-off
Ralph Lauren in white.
The lash.
Bog rolls on string.

They’d got their Sunday’s caught
in the zip of the afternoon.
Kev of Mancunia,
was double cross.
‘Av shot people for less’,
Would not leave it out.
Till Lydia,
Cut his throat with that look.
‘Missed Frank earlier’
She said out the side of her mouth.

Al thought:
‘I don’t need to miss this place
to know that they were there.
I took photos of fairies
in the willow by the canal,
when I walked me dead mum’s dog.
Did you see them?
Do you even care?’
Another version of him
walked the awful meadow
of dead tree stools,
bar mat lilies,
unpolished brass,
and lino grass, unkempt
and took the sharp step
down to the gents.
A patchouli bottle,
salvaged from Mum,
Holloway, early 70s
raised to his undamaged nostril,
veiled the stench.
Eyes to the heavens,
He’d daily threw
and was home,
Somerset 1922.

He flicked his thinning overgrowth,
nicked his finger
on the crack in the safety glass
And gave his lips some rouge.
He tied a Help The Aged
ladies scarf, tight.
Thoughts came like
pretty girls on crutches,
with glossy dogs, then
in flaxen highs,
with dandy handsomes
all camomile lawn laid.
The fug of the day.

The fruit machine flashed back.
Fellow nymphs,
gambolling through beck and field,
were fellow scrimpers,
gambling through Sky Sports racing.
John Maynard Keynes
would have had a
good-to-firm field day.
Cornflower pens
behind ears.
A horse named Ripp Orf ran the 2:15.
Kidneys processed the chop.
Al raised his Chianti coloured conk
and silently declared:
‘A damn fix, unfair!
In all my time recorded,
such power, such grace
should not go unrewarded!’

The vape was opiate.
the insults, appropriate.
The expression
On Dave’s dog’s visage.
The brawn by the pawn shop.
Salute tattoos on the arms of Ian.
All soaks, masquerading
as functioning human beings.
The sadness in Al’s jade eyes,
named each:
‘That ghastly prick’,
as the fug of the day came in again,

had a perfectly working
washing machine,
but preferred the launderette.
Odds-on there was a
gender mix-up in under-garments,
or something to that effect.
Meaning he was cubicle confined
To pass the Danish export flat,
else the question;
He dared to be asked,
by none of these oafish oiks.
The lash.

Last month, he’d arrived
on his import flat screen,
at The Danish Girl on ITV 3.
It made his year.
He was awake at 8,
to watch the re-run
of Match of the Day 2,
The Arsenal’d won and
time and talk had to be passed on
and on and on and on.

He filed each nail,
each visit,
on the breeze block
in the bogs.
Spat on the toe of his Reebok,
polished it on his calf
and saw the reflected portrait
of a young man,
never aged.
Not half.
Vent Axia was magnolia fly-stuck where
The buttoned-up let loose.
Money was tight.
Unlike his arse,
From the pills, twice daily,
He took for his heart.
He sniffed up at
the narcissus ivy,
that fingered its way through
the window.
It wrapped his imagination
like the dress,
on the absinthe advert,
next to the dartboard.
It was a story full of holes.

The fug of the day came stronger.
With relief,
Vanessa tolled, unamused.
The crowd predictably
and life would be:
‘Same again love’
as both
Al and Algenon,
all too bastard knew.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Parliament Gob

In the gob that was parliament
The members of teeth sat
In shades of decay and stability
To bite down on an issue
That was fed to them
On a drunken night out
At 3am
The upper and lower chambers met
To vote for the words
To stay in or
Get out

Molars in the upper chamber
Waived lead ballot papers
The incisors were indecisive
But went with the majority
The canines bit sharp
And pointed at the opposition
The gold tooth at the front and centre
Suddenly felt uneasy and alone
The rest of the front bench
Who got all the attention
Were mostly false
And had nothing of substance to contribute
The committee on the right at the back
Had ground themselves down
To a hardened position
And any wisdom teeth
Had long been extracted

After the river of salivation
Crashed open the lips to the public
The rotten bastard at the back of the chamber
Sucked out any juice in the room
After the gob
Got together
And voted for the words to
Get out
Under the glare
Of the dentist’s chair
The experts decided
That the evidence
For such a statement
Just wasn’t there

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

The Sum of Some Parts

Some morning
Some way to go
Some let the car doors slam just because they can
Some overrate the sun’s rays and catch an edge and walk
Some think it is an advantage to shortcut through
Some other’s workplace to get to their patch of platform quicker
Some are wrong
Some walk in military step
through a gallery of tattoos who defend the bus stop as if life depends
Some acknowledge postmen and always bin their tab-ends
Some wheel around handbags on wheels as if life was in miniature
Some addicts queue their half-lives for the asos or the amazon
Some will never return
Some queue to sign on
Some queue to sign off ill
Some know what was in that bag by the lamppost
Some post no bills
Some skip round bins and say morning to the sweeper of the street
Some are leashed and shed their bark and walk on skitty feet
Some notice shoes
Some haircuts
Some trees
Some see the fella eating Tesco sushi for breakfast and ask what kind of prick is he

Some mum loses the plot
Some dad proudly carries the school project he’s made all on his own well done
Some doubt that life is a catwalk
Some wolf whistle to themselves
Some hold their phone in both hands ‘cos what they’re like round here
Some words are dubbed
Some words are dreaded
Some do will not have their hands free where they are headed
Some wonder how much phone conversation is ever really needed
Some struggle to race their tax breaks over sleeping police
Some really laugh when cars kick right off
Some skip the strewn fox legacy thinking it might be nice to wear a watch
Some really care about the typeface
Some get up when they want ‘cept on Wednesdays
Some with headphones can’t walk the racing line
Some have no chance of performance enhancing
Some up for general classification
Some free bikes fell off the waggon

Some paint lines round corners
Some are dress-code complimentary
Some vend
Some flyer
Some are out of order
Some engineer
Some time
Some get the papers get the papers
Some mouths like beermats
Some warnings about smoking
Some hemline round gas works where it all feels a bit floaty
Some unpruned weeds and prune skin bare
Some tans
Some factors
Some like the fact the work’s being done it’s the swearing she can’t bear
Some shit in the woods
Some in the grip of cans
Some fortify the whining
Some books on the wall
Some mummy’s hand
Some short skirt salivate
Some never ever indicate

Some pass the half hour quickly but wish they had the right sort of Rizla
Some know the blinking habits of every crossing on this patch and forget the names of every street passed
Some wear flip flops
Some wear beats
No-one wears a decent hat
Some high five
Many high viz
Some genuinely don’t care if it rains but wish they hadn’t stepped in that
Some will never be called the space cowboy and are really fine with it
Some argue in the shop
Some can spare a little change
Some pretend to not
Some can’t recognise when it’s all over
and don’t know when to stop
Some can’t recognise when it’s all over
and don’t know when to stop
Some can’t recognise when it’s all over
and don’t know when to stop.

When We Fall We Thunder

In our black and tiresome writ,
our right to work kicks back,
aches our whack, takes 
our breath in seams. We’re grateful
temp’ry, to not death walk,

candle shrouded, brow-beat n’ punished.
On rotten beams as bones we lean,
til we’re back with brand tattoos 
on strong arms, raising the alarm
‘cos under brace or baton,

When we fallwe thunder. Beware.
Our dust gets bloody everywhere.

Into every home we creep,
where fires burn, heart yearning,
fair’s all we seek. Cough a pittance ‘to
handkerchiefs you’d mek us wave.  
Grave-faced cage-encased, we drop beneath.

For you are tall, tower o’er us all,
brag dissidence decreed.
For warmth n’ life n’ industry we bleed,
face with bare fists drawn, y’ever growing
dusk swords drawn. Believe,

When we fallwe thunder. Beware.
Our dust gets bloody everywhere.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Architect Gob

I wanna tell you;
All I have to say.
But brick-house mouths,
Have no nuance, clout,
When they are
Built that way.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

For Rafa (with the London Magpie Group)

we sing with
voices hoarse
and forever
we’ll be singing.
Don’t say
your reign
has run
its course
when its only
just beginning.
¡Por favor quédate!

Baby Formula

Baby formula

The amount 
Will struggle 
To live
Is equal
To the number 
Of fucks
I give

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Daylight Rubbery

Swear down
The morning
Tastes of rubber
Not eraser
The cursor’s where
Your mouth is moored
These boots
Are liquid salt
And things
I can yet afford

The Olive Branch Commander’s Bent

The Olive Branch Commander’s bent
We’re over pick an apple barrel bent
No matter of the force we meant
Our leaking taps of scraps for rent
Dressing the salad house in Kent
The snakes in grass skirts won’t relent
The Olive Branch Commander’s bent


The fire
Left the fence
As a Frank Kline painting
Like a kid
Before makeup
Was out in twenty

Friday, 26 April 2019

Unmanned Landing

The subtext
Of his subterfuge
Was to park
His fuselage
Without life
Being screwed

The Game is Fowl

Time is up
To which we sup
The death of mystery
Births faken history
Racked brains on racks
Are strained
And imagination snaps
The goose is cooked as
Facts from
Chickens plucked
Ping back
The hunts
Line up their ducks
As turkeys cast
Their votes
The tailors cut
Their tin foil suits
And prepare
To stitch us up

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Font Anna














Tuesday, 23 April 2019

A Phrase I Hate

A phrase I hate

When talking ‘bout his chosen job,
He said “I literally fell into it.”
“What’s your name?”
“Tom Daley”

So I let him off, a bit.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Canvas Houses

In canvas houses
All clever thin
We write and blow
From out to in
Till mercy ships in
Docks the lash
For now the still
    Or so we think
As wind will soon as
Screw us up and
Pick us for the bin
Then we realise
We don’t decide
The how or when
Of anything

Black and Shite Friday

Black & Shite Friday

Clock on to this:
The wind behind
Black Friday sails,
Stinks no end,
Human rights fail.

If your gender
Makes you sick,
This time of month?
Tough shit!
You’ve worked
12 straight
Docked toilet breaks?
‘S not good enough, is it?!

No fucks are given
For mouths you feed,
As rows of yous
Top table wait,
There’s none
For your plate,
My mate.
Fuck off home,

Hands off our crumbs,
You’ve zero hours and
Six strikes son,
Pros are nothing,
It’s all just cons.
The tannoy barks
This battery life,
Your card is marked
They’re watching you

Clock out to this:
The road to Wigan pier
Is set,
Graft three more
Without your pay, or
There’ll be no work
Tha’ ‘morrow, pet.
It’s workhouse rule,
It’s a life threatener,
Down Ashley’s
Detention centre.

Mark Coverdale

Sunday, 14 April 2019


‪There’s a dog the size‬‬
Of a large child
Sniffing ancient carpet
& builder’s boots
I’m breaking teeth
On scratchings
Where time & pride
Are in cahoots
They’re lap-topping
Down the local
& missing all the action
Their only words
Are Wi-fi passed 
Say it again
As before I have said
They’re keeping this pub
They’re keeping this pub

Tuesday, 9 April 2019


Penfold manifested
Mickey Mouse iron vested
With a smattering of Latin
To give their intelligence a flattering
Political malignants
Facilitating ignorance
Since 1993

Unity Parks It’s Dog

Are cricket games
In headscarves
Grandma cheering from
Her foldaway seat
To an ice cream van version
Of Beethoven’s Fur Elise

Are dad/son kick-abouts
When knee high to a grasshopper
Are Chardonnay laid down
Without the screw top stopper

Are where shiny new football tops
Kick empty tins
With names on backs that
Weren’t parlance
The last time ‘they’ won anything

Are a peaceful hours work
For the self employed outdoors
Are a peaceful hours kip
For the unhoused and unwaged

Are sniffing grounds
For the four legged waggers
For community support officers
For insta snappers snapping flowers
For skunk aficionado swaggers

Are where fertile roots grow
Where every colour is
Knowingly complicit
Where thoughts
Are rife
Where life’s
The soundtrack so
Leave the headphones at home
Take a book
And pay your local
A regular visit

The Visit

Carnations fail,
Where winds from
Pterodactyl wings

Cast open
Wasteland shadows,
In which through
Perished grass,
Thrusts this’ll
Beak of iron.

The cut up,
Is from seventy two below
To eighty four inch,
Which sticks out a foot,
Over which
We still trip.

Beady vultures
From crooked trees,
In petrified woods,
In Lowry skies
Watch strangle weeds
Round necks
Of equipment collapsed.
We try to revive and oil
This futility
Done for graft,
But it runs deep
This decay
It runs deep
This past.

It juts the death
Of industry gears
Buried heavy clay.
Looms large size.
Sleepers rot,
Ropes untwist,
Steeples plummet,
Stories mist,
Chains still bind though,
Just so you know,
Just a reminder.

Paint this scene
With tar brush;
There’s the
Works’ washed out,
Black and blue
In valleys grey,
Where carbon red
Streams ‘tween
Haunted rock and
Riven bed.

There’s death wash,
In the gobs
Of the forgotten,
The witch,
You thought was dead,

So force a whistle
Through blood drained lips.
Sit this desolate bench with
Plaque engraved
In memory.
Rest your broken backs.
Pull out your bait,
Pull out your corks,
For the end
For the final shift.

Look below,
Look beneath
How we’re judged,
Through the carved up
Way back home
We trudge,
While atop that
Parliament hill
They can’t see,
But they still sit,
Still judge.

Hide your children,
Hide your old,
Your pregnant,
Your ill from
Grave to cradle,
Under the
Yet to be climbed
And beware.

The time looms.
Like death,
The knock’ll come eventually,
For the inherently branded,
Tarred the same,
Carpet brushed
And long grass kicked,
Quietly fighting
Biting winds
And loaded fists
Just to exist.
No muscle move.
As colour drains
From frail faces,
Feeble mouths ask
If time is up.
Is it?
Once again,
Hush now,
It’s lights out,
For here
The visit.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

The Sort of Shit People say on Twitter - A Tanka

Mash’s bit lumpy
But hey, so’s life right? Maybe.
A bit of Twitter
Philosophy’s on me plate
Mate, join in, it’s all gravy.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Trawler for Ash

Never let the frost bite.
It’s a smite.
But look at us like.
We’s bitten.
Between you and mes?
Fair seas.


The under arches
Of a Ford Cortina.
The rain lets in
Mark two, three, four-uh
This is the
Backwards world.
For which we
Are pourer.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Masque of the Half Full Glass

And there they gathered
In darkened rooms,
Of wood and glass,
Masquerading as
Functioning human beings.
Places like this
Are great for blurring lines,
Of us and we and they and me.
Is it a community,
Below the disfuction room?
Is it a post-family necessity?
Is it below the tight belt
Of the name
Above the threshold?
At the hostelry
On the Cally Road,
You can bounce
But never leave.

Friday, 29 March 2019

Europe Still - A Haiku

Europe is not still
Forever active come what may
We’re still in Europe

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Sierra Nevada

When Sierra Nevada
Fell off the wall
The locals couldn’t believe it
At all
The aluminium and plastic
Hit one radge
Right between the imagination
And between the restless natives
Rested a beer brand badge
In gassy stasis
And his mind
Ran to the hills

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Baldy Bastard Takes His Hat Off in the Pub

Baldy Bastard
Takes his hat off
Baldy Bastard
Needs a haircut
This life
Is getting thin
But this size
6 and 7 8ths
Has more swag
In it’s vantage spot
Than all yous lot
So together
Find your necks
Wound in

I used to get paid to cook for people

Everything I eat
Is pizza flat
It’s true that
Each within a variety of stages
Screened for knives
Or lack of dreams
Or imagination an’ that
But hands made these dishes
With too much chilli on it
So I win

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Milking It

It’s a pile of chickens
The sun’s the colour
Of piss on chrome

Where there’s overproof
Of the underdog
Who cannot find its home

They’re outsourcing
The infighting there’s a
Claret barrack warning

Some boldly bowl
To backward go for
More sad cider mornings

Their preferred topping
Is the sleep in your eye
For their 99th balloon

Of brandy chances are
The spitfire suits are
Dry-cleaning up real soon

There’s a hole that’s drilled
In the silencer
Of your neighbour’s car

They give it one last coat
Of looking at it
Standing round the bar

There’s an inter-cover
Chevron arrangement
If you look two wine lists back

Where interstatial
Slovenly agents
Galvanise attacks

But brass they want us be
With tin tankard clinks
Like facts that lie that flow

Like piss in sinks
Where they die to cast
And where they tap to bend

Say misunderstandings
Have a long life
So be prepared to milk ‘em

Thursday, 14 March 2019


You can’t handle it
In eyes that could be yours
But yours
Are short-sighted
And the rest
And opposite

Skip lanes of ridden highways
To drop a measly
In a cup
Pretend there’s
Risk to your
Personal safety

I could right now
Draw that face
Draw up something
In debt
Move on

Tears in eyes
I’ve got a bus
I’m catching
I can reflect
There is no end of
There is no applause
One minute
Out of respect
There will be no singing
As tethers
Have a beginning

Tuesday, 12 March 2019


It’s a grey and blue freeze in here
Here it’s deja-vu number two
It’s seven pm
She’s lost her voice again
She’ll go for deja number three
There’s a point in here
In this freeze of grey and blue
That lost voices
No longer worth listening to

Sunday, 10 March 2019


Early kick off
I gaze the rainy window
Across the lane
Where the Sunday brunchers
Form snake like queues
Around the block
Play a ladder climbing game
Communist-era Poland queues
At the hip replacement joint
Aperol spritzers with babies
For hours
For quails eggs
On avocado
On walnut slices
An Instagram opportunity
Time waste it’s
Christ it’s
Whilst I’m
With the knockers
In the local
Who describe it thus
What the middle classes do
When left
To their own devices

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Barrel o’ the Same

When t’ beer’s
Bin poisoned
By medal-chested
Knights of the profane,
The consequence
Of inaction,
Is more barrel
O’ the same.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Soft Shoe Shuffle

The soft shoe shuffle
Of ghosts.
The grunt nosed trouble
For the most,
Who’re relying,
On drying
Dreaming of toast.
The parliamentary kerfuffle
Is nowt,
To those
Who are learn-ed,
Knowest most.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Football Shaped

When all we cared
Was kerby kick-abouts
When the world was football-shaped
When the Alsatian’s tooth
Was the proof
We knew
As today
The Earth was ruled
By those who’d
Have it flat

Sunday, 10 February 2019


It’s not
My fault
You’re a fucking nightmare
With your click
Tap heels
And straight hair
Cultural reappropriation
Has been
Going on
For years

Tabs Out

With a tab on
He contemplates
The tab behind the bar
He contemplates
The tabs in folders
He shoulders
The things
He should have done
To balance it up
The next drinks
Are one the smaller one

Saturday, 9 February 2019

The State of Homelessness

The state
Lies about the problem
They state
That the problem lies
With otherwise
And here lies the problem

And here lies the problem

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Find the Gap

Find the gap
Between your brain
And this platform

Crown Jewels

In towers high
The pension schemers
Steal your dreams
To satisfy their glutton

In banquet halls
They’re eating beef
While on your plate
The lamb is really mutton

So here we stand
Hand in hand
It’s these 2 points we’re sticking ✌️

‘Cos it’s hard to guard
Your own Crown Jewels
When they get
A Royal kicking

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Blood Pumping Station #2

Those Dagger words
He folded
Within a thou of an inch
And slid them under
The loading bay shutter of
Blood Pumping Station

Those Dagger words
She’d scolded
Bypassed safety valves
Raised pressure
Caused critical waged warnings
In the guts
Of his boiler room

Those Dagger words
He hoped
Would miss the piss-taking
From the lads
On the night shift in his brain
He hoped
That maintenance
Would be round
To fix that soon

Sunday, 3 February 2019

The War on the Streets

In the lamp light,
The child’s chair was a dead dog.
In the mourning light,
The bench was a national flag.
The lines had been redrawn badly.

The sand bags gave direction,
As the plastic guard surrounded
The excavated grave.
An energy drink drained
Was a bus stop sacrificial.
The wheel-less bike on the railings
Was a protester,
Chained and silenced and unofficial.

The wrapper discarded,
Was a daffodil,
To mark the start of the callous spring.
Gum chewed and spat by the trigger-happy,
Made bullet holes in the street.
Scaffold clips were lobbed
By the grenadiers of progress,

As the plastic bag kept lookout
In the butchered tree,
Scavenging birds picked the vital bits
From the sickness of scene.
We were caged for our convenience,
And there was no stopping here.

Moss in cracks grew as insignia.
Ring pulls were
Dog tags in body bags,
Tab ends were bullet shells.
Parking tickets rained as
Punishment propaganda.
Communication boxes
Were kicked in and slogan sprayed.
The speed bumps lay
Cemetery straight.

The pigeon spikes saluted,
The empty import lager bottles stood at ease.
The Sally Army bin spewed the guts
Of conscientious objectors,
The DVD box sets that sat on walls,
Provided no subtitles at all.

The battle was timed and recorded.
Holed foxes cried last post.
As the waste lay on the border,
Green boxes rectangular with lids,
Laid bare the celebrations of victors.
Lampposts were clung to
In memoriam.
The wounded staggered
And doorway propped
And bodies lay everywhere.

In the half light,
In given ways,
Through oncoming traffic,
The blood was let.
Through social scrubbing,
Through community conflict,
Lest we forget,
If war is made of memory,
These streets are paved with now.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Critical - A Tanka

There’s a gap in the
Market for some critical
Thinking the problem’s
Not the thought process it’s that
It’s all just market driven

Friday, 18 January 2019


She brogue-nosed the bouncer,
Then loafed against the bar.
She brown-aled the half glass,
Wi’ pin badge mouth,
Made 5 points sharp,
Each of them blue star.
She liner-eyed the terrace band,
She cut them down
With feathered looks then
Fringe flicked the excess.
These scarf-strangled chancers
Bored her daft,
An’ her Regal hit the deck.
Moves were made checkerboard,
By the eager to embed,
The red-haired queen kept
Hers buttoned down,
As her bottoms belled his head.
Wi’ elbows back,
An’ a dog tooth smile
Drew a smoke ring,
Stood her ground
And kept things done,
Not said.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Nil by Mouth

Or south
No one quite
I’m tired
Like Kathy Burke
From her
And south
In Nil by

Saturday, 5 January 2019

The Art of Listening

The art of listening’s

To the man sat on the street
To the fan in their seat
The art of listening’s

The self-appointed
Cultural representatives
Have currency in their ears
Through the nose
It’s us
Who pick up the

Figureheads figure figures
Run their lines
Line their own and
Run their stones
Gather no

Fibbers fib
Fiddlers fiddle
Groups fill forms
Form fillers form groups
Pints get thinner
The art of listening’s

They spiel
We pay
We pay to view
Yet another 3 points

It’s killing us
When we cannot get
These points

In questionable times
This Groundhog Day
Is bleak on repeat
Is covered in

The art of listening’s