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Thursday, 31 May 2012


Beyond that tree,
beyond the next,
beyond that one,
is the land of dreams,

no distance, not much,
almost close enough to touch.

We have to plan a route,
navigate obstacles and traps,
assess risks,
for it is not as easy as it seems,

so near, yet so far,
for who we were, who we are,

to reach over there, to see
who we will be.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


A 93-year-old woman who was badly beaten as she slept in her own bed has died in hospital from complications from her injuries.   Emma Winnall, who was attacked in Moseley, Birmingham, nearly a month ago, died early this morning, said West Midlands police.

Throughout life, when people live 

to a high number of years,
we say: "It's a good innings",
a judgement and a compliment, I suppose.

Mrs Winnall, 93 years,
sadly, tragically, incomprehensibly dead
from a savage beating
as she slept in her own bed.

We saw the picture of her face,
the black and blue bruises,
that no soft-soap psychological or social analysis
explains or excuses.

No platitudes, no curt phrases will do,
no worn out old cricketing term,
this happened on our watch, people,
and we should do a lot more than squirm.

We should do more.
But will we?


Tuesday, 29 May 2012


Soon I will be by the sea again,
to be soothed the the rush and the crash,
to be awed by the power of the ocean,
to enjoy the fun of the splash.

I will squint towards the horizon
in search of the shape of a boat
and still dream of faraway places,
keeping all of my dreams afloat.

Monday, 28 May 2012


Yesterday, today, tomorrow,
our leaders take it in turns
to blurt out the next change,
the next survey, the next research,
in the blame-game, name and shame,
angst, anxious, keep 'em worried way
that becomes a pantomime farce
ensuring we don't know elbow from arse.

We kid ourselves that we have a voice,
a choice determined by our precious votes,
and we are lured by campaigning sweet talkers,
by charmers who, in power, morph into scroats.

Saturday, 26 May 2012


When we were not playing gunslinging cowboys
from the westerns on TV,
we would play secret agents and spies,
my circle of friends and me.

We would take it in turn to be goodies,
we would take it in turn to be bad,
we would tumble, chase, mock-fight and fall,
'course the neighbours thought we were mad.

Playing The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
was one of our favourite games,
I became Napoleon Solo,
always one of my favourite names.

Now an aging autograph hunter,
I wrote off to Robert Vaughn,
my Napoleon Solo hero,
even now, after those years have gone.

Though disappointed, there was no photo,
I should be grateful he answered at all,
he just wrote on my original letter,
less an autograph, more of a scrawl.

They say be wary of meeting your heroes,
and though we never actually met,
there's a bond with Napoleon Solo
this boy from U.N.C.L.E will never forget.

Friday, 25 May 2012

AND THEN...........

It was perfect,
a scene so beautiful,
a silence so pure,
a feeling of flawless peace,
a rare and precious moment,
as good as a scene can get........

......and then the scream
of a low-flying jet.

Thursday, 24 May 2012


When you look at me,
you have no idea
until I reveal the surprise,
for I'm the '74
dominoes champ
right before your eyes.

A dark horse was I,
not given a chance
by the critical and the uncouth,
for I'd never played dominoes
in my life,
and that's the honest truth.

The scene was set
at the Castle Inn
in the city of Belfast,
I conquered all,
won the tankard prize
and the audience was aghast.

From '74 to the present day,
that's my only sporting prize,
but you should never dismiss the dark horse,
like this champ before your eyes.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


If it's broken, fix it.
If it's not broken, break it,
then rebuild it as something else,
in the name of change, something new
for the good of me and you,
for the planet, for humanity's sake, 
for the sake of a mistake,
try something different, something bold,
in with the new, out with the old.

We may stamp or feet, create a fuss,
but our leaders say they know
better than the rest of us,
what's best for you and me
and, oddly, in a democracy,
there's not a lot we can do
except roll our eyes if we disagree.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


Intelligent cat,
meticulous cat,
when she was writing a letter
would work at the language
and aim for perfection, 
so she would get better and better.

Other cats sneered, 
insulted, derided
and call her a swot and a wuss,
but intelligent cat
stayed calm for she was
content as a grammar puss.

Monday, 21 May 2012


We would gather
at the coal shed,
three of us, Sunday evenings,
with an out of tune guitar,
a battered cardboard box
and knitting needles for drums,
to sing and play
the hits of the day.

we were the Beatles,
the Rolling Stones,
the Bee Gees,
we were rubbish,
cack-handed, impromptu, ad-lib
but we were happy in our dreams
to be Lennon, McCartney,
Jagger, Richards and Gibb.

Saturday, 19 May 2012


Out of the past,
an icy blast of memory,
someone I knew,
someone I never wanted to see again.

Standing in the doorway,
a self-satisfied, knowing grin,
a closed chapter
reopened, demanding a new ending.

Out of the past,
revenge comes calling,
the pursuer's upper hand,
the fugitive cornered and caught.

In the evening's stillness,
a final bullet fired,
one man standing,
the other lying dead on a kitchen floor.

Who lived and who died?
It won't take Sherlock Holmes
to deduce that dead men
can't write poems.................

Friday, 18 May 2012


An old country singer strums his guitar and recalls:

"The last time I kissed her was at midnight,
October the fourth, I well remember the year,
now I have the time to sit and think awhile
and I spend it all wishing she was here.'

Thursday, 17 May 2012



I don't know.
I don't know.
I don't know.
I don't know.
I don't know.
I don't know.

That's today's
out of the way.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


derelict buildings
old and broken,
worn out faces
just the same

painted walls
record a story
artistic flair
to taunt and blame

narrow streets
strewn with litter
broken pavements
under strain

eyes in search
of any answers
showing signs
of loss and pain

a choice to leave
a choice to stay
the past has gone
the present tense

a choice to leave
a choice to stay
a choice awaiting
common sense

I wave goodbye 
to boyhood streets
turn my back 
and walk away

I saw and smelled
much greener grass......

.......but I recall my roots

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


It seems such a waste,
on this bright, beautiful sunny morning,
to pull the slat blinds
and block out the light,
as I cannot work with glare on my screen,
cannot concentrate trying to position
my head, adjust the quint of my eyes,
if sunshine is intruding.

When night falls and the day has gone,
I hope I can justify the slat blinds,
show creative evidence of time well used inside, 
while outside the banished sun shone.

Monday, 14 May 2012


A yob-head
shouts "knob-head"
to a man across the street.

The knob-head (alleged)
ignores the yob-head (fact)
and votes with his feet.

The yob-head (definite)
can't be bothered
with a follow-up curse.

The knob-head (long gone)
just ignores him,
for fear of making matters worse.

The yob-head
stumbles on,
looking for a scrap.

Another day,
another "knob-head"
might respond with a slap (applause).