Tuesday, 31 July 2018

You Can Paint Me Red and White and Green but it’s All Yellow

Sometimes nice guys
Do finish first
For good reason
The push on stages comes with ages
Not dressed in limelight
But yellow
And now
The world all knows 
Llongyfarchiadau G
It just goes to show

Monday, 30 July 2018

Art. Work.

Art. Work.

Look at the artwork. There is skill, there is discipline, on display
there’s a show that must go on , come what may.
There’s funding, there’s advertising, a champagne pop party
there’s power, there’s privilege, there’s a crowd that’s arty.

But think on this.
When ‘you are obliged to look at this painting for at least ten
minutes so that you can appear intellectual’, 
while you’re hanging on someone’s every word, 
think on this.

It’s the unsung who cleaned, who secured, ticketed, procured
who properly ensured that this, & thousands like it,
happened at all.

It’s not an abstract thought to express some gratitude, to display
some praise, to pay humanly, to treat with grace, those who allow
us the impression, that it’s just the ‘genius’  that’s clapped & papped
& lauded, revered & reviewed & consumed & hung on the wall.

Let me make this clear.
It’s the unsung who really put it there.
It’s the unsung who deserve the applause.
It’s the unsung who we fight for,
or there’d be no art at all.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

The Absinthe Minded at a Quarter Past Fifty

He was famously absinthe minded enough
To want to paint his own legacy
He’d already glossed over the doormat of self-awareness
With his own perception
Pulled self-tapping screws from the barrel belly of his past
Swapped his intake valve for a rustier much larger one

On the way back from getting
A spare set of keys for his heart
He bought a two pound tin of creosote from the floor outside the shop
It smelled like the essence of his being
It was the colour of his complexion
The ‘landscape of his body’
It was a bloody mess
Any natural beauty had long been ditched and
Smashed for six at a 65 over Limited country car crash
He vaguely remembers the 5-oh
He vaguely remembers the 5-oh at his door

By day he was a practising horizontalist
Satin finished sat indoors
Whining away the hours
His third eyed view from five foot two
Decorated the interior of his dwelling
Trees dropped wonky shells in
The war zone of his expression as
His money always ran after the wrong horse
And his empty life was in the feeding stage of its own third course

He waited until the hottest day of the year
To paint the frame of the window to his soul
Magnolia hair and artex skin and sponged guts
He laid the carpet out for himself
Painted it red
With his temper on eggshells
He stubbed his cigarette
Before kicking the can up the road
Which bounced like the baby he fought not to be
As serotonin alarm bells went off in this melt
He sat and felt his brain drip
On the bread of his own doorstep

The undercoater would take him back some day
That shook him to his very bones
He’d seen the red raw core of his very self
And seen that someone had already been round
To paint it black
Who had paid for that?

Half way through undercoating the gateway to his mind
He threw his tar brush over the wall
And put a stop to that start
He went for a quick one over the road
In hope that drinks till pay day
Could be on the missing slate of his mind
And he could chalk up a couple of coppers
And nail them to the dart board
And then decide

So when you hear the news
Any day now oh boy
Look north
Raise one to the solitary
Pull another from the fridge
To the ones whistling their unfinished symphony
On life’s back and Forth Road Bridge

Sundi’all This Will Be Yours

There’s a spare key
Under the pedant tree
There’s a hedgehog
At the border
There’s a sun dance complimentary
When the weather’s out of order
There’s a willow patterned welcome
Where hive minds protect their bees
At Sundial you can
Check out any time but
You can never leave

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

The Restaurant Signage Advisor

The Restaurant Signage Advisor
Cries into her apostrophe bin
There’s something eating up inside her
She’s suffering for our sins

As a girl she’d climb the pedant tree
She would string and pickle commas
In the airing cupboard they would be
‘Till they were 101ers

She cut the hyphens from her Barbies
Poured full stops on the slugs
Her old man was a grocer see
And a punctuating thug

Later she worked happily
In the employment of semantics
Her spaghetti was alphabetti
Her thesaurus love romantic

She was never a ladder climber
Though spent her time up ladders
A real job-for-life typer
Work was making her mad her

Despair would get the better
In this age of under spelling
She’d curse the written patter
Her demons needed quelling

She clocked it planned it properly
Her suicidal sign
Above her old man’s property
She’d hang herself in time

So light for her four candles
Give your grammar a cremation
Flay yourself with Twitter handles
With Fahrenheit 451 sensation

She write the sign to become a shrine
To proper spelling grammar
As she hung by the neck above the deck
The sign said “s’not S’pelt like that you wanker!”

Monday, 23 July 2018

Mic Airtime

Don’t hype The Right
Do concertedly about it
Don’t fuel their fire and smoke without
Don’t mic airtime tick
Don’t auto cue the news
The dichotomy goes like this
A full belief in the good of people
That people hold the power
And a full belief the world
Is only ever full of pricks

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Kicking Cans

He was a polystyrene tray of a man
Ticking his way to closing time
Past remnants of the morning famine
Picking the last of the salt of the earth
His dustbin mind with its
Dustbin minders and lock-up lodgers
With their lock-up logic kicking cans down
Sticking the plaster now
Back on Forwhatitsworth Street

Refuge - A Tanka

It was grey it was
Eight miles he walked over the
Grey desert to find
That there are only bad men
At the edge of the desert

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Waiting On

While I’m
Waiting on you
I realise no one is
Waiting on you
I’ve got someone
Waiting on me
But I’ve paid them a shitloadery
And all that’s left in me pockets
Is a screwed up I.O.U.
A reminder
That I should be
Waiting on you

Friday, 13 July 2018

Complicity - A Bosnian Tanka

On complicity
We learn from Bosnian sense:
“We’ll remember not
The words of our enemies
But the silence of our friends”

Buzzword Post-mortem

Buzzword Post-Mortem

On the mortuary slab
This time
There’ll be no
Club v country
Pride v ego
Wherever he goes
So does me go
Ticky tacky jealousies
From tabloid bottom feeders
Why can’t we practice penalties?
Where were all the leaders?
Paid too much
Cared too little
Daft haircuts and
Stupid cards
Not this time
Unlucky lads

Sunday, 8 July 2018

It Must Be Summer

The plain trees
Are witness to
Carnies that 
Harmonise to the
Dodgem’s Agadoo
Lad gets his collar felt
‘Cos how it smelled
Ice creams at right angles
Dogs chase
Folks baste
Limbs smelt
Kids get strangled
It’s the 3rd degree
Over 22
It must be summer
What a bummer

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Staring Down Roman Way

Staring down
Roman Way
At the shrines
And the spitting
At the quarrellers
And their prison
Through a pint glass
Of a prism
And their road
Is a decision
At the national flags and
Flip flop dressed in
Harry Rags
Where it’s great
To be straight
As speeds bumps yeah
And the grass grows there
And burdens hump
Where betting slips
Past baby lumps
Who’s days trip
And prospects faint
In words mis-spelled in
Anti-Climb paint

Friday, 6 July 2018

The Salt On Your Shoulder Is For The Chips

It’s the northerners done good
That knack me off
More than they should
It’s the dauphinois on the shoulder
That should’ve told
You should

But hes are also shes
VAT receipt
The bleach blonde
Prosecco quaffers
Queuing for the
Unknown soldier
To the ‘aw bless ‘im’ bleat

It’s all gone a bit
Predictable yes
It’s all gone a bit
4 Yorkshiremen sketch
Hamming it up in plays
That plays out as sure
As cured pork is gammon
With lashings of
Lashing it up in the beck
And the call of brow beaten bar staff
In central chain pubs
Director of nowt
Grow up

Because the wheels
Your forefathers greased
Machinery rooms
Makes you not
The flash bastard
Better man than me
Or her
Cold shoulder
Makes you predictably
Lacking the points
In that department
Makes you stick out
That bottom
Service lip squire so
Wind yer neck in
And give us a chip


It’s the same every week you’d think
Every time it’s the same you’d think

But just the divisive privilege
To write this on a journey home
Becomes quickly a thing less known

Crows have obvious
Poetic symbolism
And everyone can slip
As every Eric knows
(Ask Bananaman)
The Lithuanian man
Neighbouring the cash machine
Takes care of baby crows

He says the day tomorrow
Could be the best day yet
The park he says is very beautiful
He carries in his inside pocket
Round council jurisdictions
To find aid for lost embodiments

I have the privilege of this knowledge
Because I pop change
In coffee-shaped takeaway pots
Because now and then I listen

The most positive people I find
Are those who are greeted
With the most negative
Sentiments on the street

So pull on at least a
Sullen ‘Alright mate?’ next time
‘Cos they care like us
Be sharp be near
They hold crows
That paint premature feet
Round tired eyes that yearn for peace

So take care of your fellow
And listen to the wings’ beat

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Les Gris Gris Mud

If in your coffee cup
There’s mud
You can see the
Dead hands what made it
Waving back atcha
Knowing they picked you


The night throws out
The souped up pub and
Backs up the riff
That you didn’t want to be
Keith Moon
But Mitchell
Your bread gets dipped
The wind cries Mary
And at the crossroads
Two zero hours
Twin Toyota taxis
Silently kiss

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

On the Outside Courts

On the outside courts,
Corner cutters come first.
As back handers hit lines,
Catch the chalk,
The crowds gawp,
At what they’ve just seen.
The passing shots are at
Those stuck on an
Economic baseline.
As negligence nails
Another opponent;
We ask the umpire,
If this weighted game
Is going to plan.
The first service
Rule of responsibility
Is the ability to respond
React ably, quickly.
To defend with
Some balls.
To serve with some spare
In your pockets,
As rockets will
Whistle past ears.

The officials must show
That they know
What responsibility means,
If they want the pay and prestige
Of the umpire’s chair.
There’s no time for inaction,
It’s time to show
They actually care.
They see, but don't speak,
As smashes flash past
Flailing rackets
And settle in the cheap seats.
But despite this criminally weak
For the supposed good of the nation,
The game goes on.

On the outside courts,
The yellow-napped attacks
Thud into advertising hoardings.
According to the law of averages,
It's meant to be
Back and forth,
But for each game forward,
There’s more broken back.
As the means tested
Are denied a safety net.
Justice unravels,
Like a councillors expense receipt.
Deceit is the disease,
That brings to the knees,
Those who feel the squeeze,
Who play gruelling
Five-setters every day,
Against the top seeds
Come what may.
Though there is
"No way" they are told
Again and again that
They can conceive
Anything but defeat.

But believe, that one day,
On the outside courts,
Someone in a fifteenth floor
Summer window,
Who's not the colour of cream,
Will let in a cooling breeze,
To go with sweet sweet strawberries,
See a fair match,
And life could be a dream.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Apples Are Not The Only Fruit

Apples are not the only fruit

Two trees
Apple tree
Orange tree
Pick a tree
There are
Bad apples
There are bad oranges too

But it’s not
When the popular choice
Is apple juice
And any subsequent
Promotion of any
Orange juice produced
Is deemed
To be

You’d be a fruit cake
To rate
The full Del Monte
With its
Snakes in the grass
That lay in shadows
That need to give
Their neck a wind
That advertise their
Juicy goods

With the fact that
Other trees
Bear fruit too
A wee dram
A little nip
Or spoonful of tropical juice
Does not
Make the world
Go flat
When you split the pith
From the supposed
predisposed path
And you think you can fruit bowl
Up Union Street
Stroll on
Peel yourself a
New one
Collecting low hanging fruit
Does not constitute work
Picking the fruit left rotting
From the floor
Could be of use
Could be necessarily
Could be
The only work left

The shear pruning
And uprooting of
Root and branch reform
Is squeezed out when
Quotas apparently ain’t so juicy
Says the farmer
That never
Turns up for work
Foraging for apples
Bears not the only fruit

Keep it cordial
Sugar it when you need t’
And remember
Orange or
Apple juice
Goes best by far
With a little
Continental vodka

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Mr. Tarkowski

In the thirties and in his seventies
Mr. Tarkowski was a bear of a man
He had the same routine
Every morning
Two eggs he’d behead
With his commemorative cut-throat
With the decorative clasp
Salt butter caraway bread
At a time too late to be
Considered breakfast

Blank would be
His ancient milky mariner’s eyes
As he’d unload
In the unlit bathroom
With door open wide
Then trudge two worn out shoes
On the worn out stair
Down flights of two
To the street where
An odd sight he’d be
Resignedly burling up
To do his daily duty

Pin-striped legs
Would skirt round his given toil
Everyday he’d bend his back
Like a Prussian King Arthur
And extract
A cast iron safe
Weighing six stone eight
Embedded in the tarmac
Just yesterday
Same time
Same safe
Every day

Not even a grunt
Of effort he let
As he’d carry this dead weight
Up four sets
Of twelve sepia stairs
To the dark room he let
The well built treads gave no creak
Under the step of this man
His burden
And his cast iron will

In the summer months
A small bead may drop
From his heavy brow
Hit the floor by the window
Where the safe would be back
In its dust marked place
On the open ledge
And out of sight
He’d wait
For the rumble of boots
To catch the breeze from
Left to right

The imagined handkerchief
Would drop
And without fuss
Without noise
With death weight poised
He’d heave this
Damaclesiastical lump
To plummet over sooty glass
And peeling frame 'till it
Would stop
With the baroque thud
Of a long dead organist

He’d thickly curse
The absent crash
Of crushed skull
Or broken bone
As the black shirts
Marched past below

He’d arch his back
Light a smoke
And spit the fact
It would begin again