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Sunday, 30 June 2013



One seventy,
number of our address,
for sixty years our family home
but after a sad passing, for sale,
under offer, sold,
going, going, gone.

Nothing lasts forever,
why did we think it should,
when we knew it never could?

We just wished it would.


Ashes, ashes,
dust, dust,
the remains of ancestors
like dunes
blocking my progress
from here to there,
from past to present
and on.....

My feet sink into
the sands of time.
I move slowly
if I move at all,
the grip of annoyed spirits
tugging at my skin.

Thursday, 27 June 2013


"Nearly is not good enough," said the portly executive,
presenting at a lets-pretend-we-are-all-colleagues conference,
where the bonhomie was as plastic as the coffee cups
and the enthusiasm as tangible as a burst balloon.

"The customer is always king," we chanted,
slapping our arses in pseudo-tambourine-banging motions,
trapped into clapping the podium claptrap,
as insane and pointless as howling at the moon.

"We are one team in thought and deed," said the HR smoothie,
pausing to prompt an ovation for his words of genius,
and we obliged, shouting and whistling our agreement,
secretly mocking this cliche-ridden buffoon.

"Sell, sell, sell and do it well, well, well," our parting anthem,
waving the small flags we were given to add to the fun,
carrying huge folders of procedures, guidance and wisdom,
sagging from the banality of a business pantomime afternoon.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013


There are fewer and fewer old sailors,
old soldiers, old pilots willing to tell
their exaggerated stories for entertainment,
for education of the young,
for old times sake, for a last hurrah,
for the sake of remembering
the sad tales, the descriptions of tragedies,
of comrades lost and saved,
the yarns spun to make us smile,
or reduce us to tears as the storytellers' watery eyes
stare through us, past us to long gone days
that are never really gone.

Out come the shoeboxes held together with string,
the medals, coins, shell-casings,
browning photographs of smiling friends,
occasionally the nub of a scar from a near-miss
exposed by an upturned shirt sleeve.

Come the last breath,
and the framed pictures on mantlepieces,
military men in immaculate uniform dress,
reminding loved ones of loved ones
and the truth that there are less and less......

Tuesday, 25 June 2013


A fleeting glance 
all those years ago in Portugal,
the sharp bend of a mountain road,
the pile of flowers, ribbons, photographs,
a random display of bright, vibrant bouquets
against the brown, dry rocks,
shimmering cellophane in the morning sun,
a small wooden cross to highlight something tragic,
a weathered sign that identified the point of it all:

"Sleep Well Gupo".

Who was Gupo?

Whoever he was, he mattered - matters - to someone,
not to me, driving past his shrine by chance;
although twenty years on, it's vivid,
an enduring image frozen in my memory
a camera-shot clicked by a fleeting glance,
reminding me of a complete stranger.

Sleep well, Gupo.

Sunday, 23 June 2013


Did you see the size of the moon last night,
in all it's glowy and all it's might,
a great big ball of natural light,
did you see the size of the moon last night?

Then I remembered the cat and the fiddle yarn
and my mind began to wander a bit,
looking at the size of the moon last night,
it'd take a bloody big cow to jump over it.

p.s. I meant to type "glowy"!

Saturday, 22 June 2013


So farewell James Gandolfini, 
mighty man,
mighty Tony, 
fondly remembered for so much, 
but especially one thing - 
badda bing!