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Monday, 30 April 2012


The FA, we're told, is admiring
of one candidate with whom they're enquiring,
after departing Capello
they need a new fellow
but have they learned f.a. about hiring?
There is a manager called Roy
the FA seem keen to employ
to lead England's team,
repeat the '66 dream
to lift national spirit and joy.
Players and fans stay alert
a new era for the three-lion shirt
for whoever leads and plays
England needs better days
to end 46-years (eh?) of hurt.

Sunday, 29 April 2012


So, it's that time of the year
the Sunday Times Rich List;
we are wide-eyed, envious,
we read, we absorb, we compare,
the billionaires, the millionaires,
who's gained, who's lost,
who are the the powerful,
the wealthiest of the wealthy,
who earned their fortune with pride,
who to applaud, who to deride.

Such a list of rich and riches
brings out the worst in us,
a parade too delicious to resist,
a chance to tut and shake our fist,
prosperity v austerity, 
widening gaps, class division,
haves v have nots, cheer v derision,
rich, richer, richest, movers, shakers,
philanthropists, misers, givers, takers,
inheritors, workers and downright fakers.

But in this mea culpa era of politics and media,
of Big Society and curbing the greedier,
in the interests of balance, a need to ensure
that we will soon browse the Sunday Times List of The Poor.

Saturday, 28 April 2012


We have lost interest 
in slowing down,
no patience for the gradual,
losing our love for the languid,
leisurely, lingering, unhurried
use of time and savouring of place.

We demand speed, efficiency,
the slick-quick rush to save minutes,
only to waste them in our slack,
tardy, tedious complaining of life
and its queues and its hesitation,
it's dullards and dimwits in deceleration.

We decide our own speeds
for our own needs and damn
those who waste the time
that we prefer to waste ourselves.

Friday, 27 April 2012


Out beyond us all, 
a comet as big as London
is just visible with it's golden light
and blue tail for us to witness,
a marvel to provoke context,
to kindle a sense of wonder,
to destroy selfishness,
looking outward to look inward,
a lump of iced matter
to chill our arrogance,
a moment away from daily life,
a prompt to understand our insignificance.

Out there we may find answers
to the evil streak on Earth,
to the disgrace of the human race,
why we waste lives and time,
but we are not out there.

We are here,
opportunities to hit,
opportunities to miss,
we are here 
and this is this.

Thursday, 26 April 2012


Ah, the smell of the country,
unfresh fresh air,
resonates like the farming news at ten,
dung, dung, dung, dung,
excrement, fertilizer, manure,
lathered all over the filthy fields,
spread thick like beef extract on baps.
I lift handfuls of it and hold it to my nose,
breathe in the beautiful bovine bouquet,
celebrate the goodness of the soil
before throwing up in the hay.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


The yapping dog at the house in Fruithill Park
for all I knew had a bite worse than its bark
as I delivered groceries in nineteen sixty three
on a Mace bike, bringing out the nervous kid in me.

I've never liked dogs of any breed or size,
a dislike I've never attempted to disguise,
if I saw a panting hound up a distant street,
I'd turn around and pedal a fast retreat.

The Fruithill house was not my favourite trip
but the Fruithill house always gave the biggest tip,
so my fear I had to squash, indeed confound,
for the incentive was the prize of half a crown.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


After a very nice book launch last night at The Dock Kitchen, Ladbroke Grove, London, to celebrate Chef/Owner Stevie Parle's "The Dock Kitchen Cookbook", I was trying to think of a light verse about chefs, etc.  I remembered a poem I wrote a few years ago, mildly influenced by, but not necessarily about, the blessed Keith Floyd and here it is:

Keith Flan, the cookery man,
culinary tricks in a frying pan,
simmer and boil and saute and steam,
loaded with butter and whipping cream.

Each meal preparation called for a toast,
a few guzzles of wine to cool down the roast,
years of experience in varied cuisine
had sated his thirst from neck to spleen.

On TV, in books, he showed he was proper,
skilled with his skillet, adept with his chopper,
nifty with knives and handy with whisks,
willing to take a few catering risks.

But one risk too many, so sad to relate,
his lifestyle caught up and determined his fate,
with one slurp too many of special reserve,
he pickled himself into an hors d'oeuvre.

Monday, 23 April 2012


He wrote his manuscripts
on a coffin-lid desk,
black cat roaming the floor,
raven tethered to a high perch,
in a room of shimmering cobwebs
eerily lit by church candles,
no natural light, no fresh air,
few shadows, musty atmosphere,
weird mind for the bizarre,
in the worst conditions to create
Gothic worlds of torture and fright,
for the best horror books he could write.

Sunday, 22 April 2012


He began as a dot
some way away
and slowly, slowly, slowly
through the shimmering heat
he became more of an ink blot,
then more of a paint splash,
an abstract shape on the move,
closer and closer and closer,
bigger and bigger and bigger,
human-shaped, man-shaped,
an imposing figure, armed and ready,
chasing us, catching us
and then doing God knows what to us.

Friday, 20 April 2012


Shame us, Heaney,
shame us with your brilliance,
your genius,
that wordsmith warp and weft,
that mind alert and deft,
that natural charm to disarm,
the books, the lectures, the readings,
the accolades, awards and prizes,
the compliments, all shapes and sizes,
the effortlessness,
the down-to-earthness,
the glide of that squat pen
between finger and thumb,
each delicate word earning its place,
each phrase honed for rhythm and pace.

Shame us, Heaney,
we work, we dream,
always in your slipstream.

Thursday, 19 April 2012


Lyrics to one of my attempts at a jokey three-chord country song............

She never gets sick of Elvis
but she sure gets sick of me
she says she gets lonesome at night
that's something I can't see
She says: "He's in my CD rack,
no, of course, he's not dead,
he's in my speakers singing,
performing in my head."

I met her in the 50s
when Elvis changed the world
I was her only boy
and she was my only girl
We danced a lot to Hound Dog
and our love was tender too
but now she taunts my wooden heart
and there's not much I can do

She never gets sick of Elvis
but she sure gets sick of me
she says she gets lonesome at night
that's something I can't see
She says: "He's in my CD rack,
no, of course, he's not dead,
he's in my speakers singing,
performing in my head."

Our walls are full of pictures
of Elvis through the years
she loves to sing the songs
while I like drinking beers
Elvis when I wake up
sunrise to sundown
he's her king of rock and roll
and I'm her jester clown

She never gets sick of Elvis
but she sure gets sick of me
she says she gets lonesome at night
that's something I can't see
She says: "He's in my CD rack,
no, of course, he's not dead,
he's in my speakers singing,
performing in my head."

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


22 July, 2011,
8 killed,
209 injured.

22 July, 2011,
Utoya Island,
69 killed,
33 injured.

The killer admits
he did it,
but says he was justified,
further torturing with cold-eyed callousness 
those who lived and denying restful peace 
to those who died.

A despicable shit,
no matter how you look at it.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


I had come to the edge of town
because I had to see what I refused to believe,
where once the streets and shops were busy,
there was nothing, nothing at all,
just boarded stores and a stray dog,
no people, no traffic, no litter, nothing,
where once local pride was a proud boast,
now Nothing Town has become a ghost.

Monday, 16 April 2012


Knock, knock!
Who's there?
It's the global census asking,
are you good, bad, ugly,
or none of the above,
a follower of hate
or a follower of love,
one of the saints
or just despicable,
tick your choice
or write not applicable.


Top 6 most viewed poems right here - just click to read:



Sunday, 15 April 2012


That feeling,
that insecure feeling
when you are lost in the woods,
trying to remember the tree
where you began to roam,
guessing which stumps and bracken
will lead you home.

That feeling,
that desperate feeling
as you trample the ground
that you will not be missed
and never be found.

Saturday, 14 April 2012


After a rather nice response from broadcaster Nicholas Andrew Argyll Campbell to my critical tweet.............

I was getting a wee bit picky
about a broadcasting man called Nicky
he was rather upbeat
about my critical tweet
otherwise things could have been sticky


Friday, 13 April 2012


Place your bets,
see what wins,
in these torrid times,
virtues or sins

lust v chastity
gluttony v temperance
greed v charity
sloth v diligence
wrath v patience
envy v kindness
pride v humility

There is much to savour in a virtue,
much to enjoy in a vice,
in life we care or are careless,
suspicious of the boredom of nice.

Thursday, 12 April 2012


Our dog eats sofas,
dining tables and chairs,
beds and bedside cabinets,
and there isn't any cure
for our furnichewer.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


I learned my a,b,cs
as easy as 1,2,3s,
I learned to read and write,
learned wrong from right,
straightforward education,
solid foundation.

Monday, 9 April 2012


Does a pessimistic person
have a moment of doubt,
or are all moments doubt?

Does an insane person
have a moment of madness,
or are all moments madness?

Does a dying person
have a moment of regret,
or are all moments regret?

Does a depressed person
have a moment of sadness,
or are all moments sadness?

Saturday, 7 April 2012


I must go down to the Thames again, but what’s with all the boats,
and all the crowds on the riverbank wearing their winter coats,
whatever it is I strip to my trunks and dive in undeterred
but instead of applause I get abused, bollocked and severely grrrrd.

So here I am at the Thames again, to the pecker-shriveling river
and all I ask is you watch your oars flaying hither and thither,
and the shouts of idiot and shouts of nutter hardly get me quaking,
but I do object to Oxford and Cambridge threats with fists a-shaking.

Oh what is this, they’ve stopped the race to give me space to swim,
what jolly chaps to be polite, I always thought them dim,
but do I detect impatience here, university huffs and puffs,
and I realise I’ve ballsed the race as the cops slam on the cuffs.

Friday, 6 April 2012


I was a January kid,
a Sunday morning baby,
a Capricorn -

practical and prudent,
ambitious and disciplined,
patient and careful,
humorous and reserved

but also

pessimistic and fatalistic,
miserly and grudging.

That was the plan,
a recipe of characteristics,
I am none of it,
I am all of it,
what I will do, am doing, did,
just a January kid.

Thursday, 5 April 2012


Under the pretence of freedom,
a few control the many,
keeping tensions heightened,
keeping us all frightened.

They agitate, alarm, appal,
brow beat, bully, chill,
daunt, deter, dismay,
harrow, haunt, horrify,
intimidate, oppress, overawe,
panic, perturb, rattle,
spy, snoop, sneak,
scare, shake, stun,
terrify, terrorise, threaten,
torment, unnerve and keep us on the run.

Under the pretence of freedom,
a few control the many,
keeping tensions heightened,
keeping us all frightened.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


"Commentators, columnists, observers, talk radio people
milk subjects until they are bone dry of sense or fact,
their pros and cons twisted, distorted and choked,
and this is the only education provided for millions of citizens,
a media school of opinions built on hills of beans and candy floss foundations."

The world needs freedom of truth more than freedom of speech.

"A woman leaves all her money and belongings to her cat
and the cat is enticed to run a tell-all serial in a tabloid
admitting how much of a bitch she really was."

The seven deadly sins are too delicious and too easy to reach.