A collection of poems and other writings...

Monday, 29 September 2014

A Smear Campaign

I saw you,
you know.

You didn’t see me
but I saw you.

I was walking past
and you were sat in Emma’s CafĂ©
with your back to the window.

There were others in there, too –
an engaged couple,
engaged in tea and toast.
You made sure they could not witness
what I saw.

But I saw,

and I know what you did.

And if you knew that I had seen
I hope you would have been

From the front –
the fair facing front –
the innocent public facing front –
it would have seemed that
you were just fondling
your spectacles,
just resting your eyes perhaps
from too long use of
an outdated prescription.

But from behind
I could see
that the right arm of those
was delving deep,
deep into the orifice of your right ear
searching the dark recesses
for that itching

And I could feel your relief
that gnawing,
as the shovel-ended
spectacle blade
performed its
miraculous mining.

But I’m no fool.
I would not hang around to see the
the moment of
the grand reveal
as laden arm
was slowly withdrawn
from now empty ear.

But how was your tea?

And where is that load now?

Was it surreptitiously wiped on a paper napkin
and left with your dirty plate?
Or was it smeared across your open palm
and then hands rubbed together
until it had
to disappear
only actually to be spread
across every
handle you handle
surface you brush
child's head you stroke
barehanded loaf you hold?

Your efflorescent

lubricating the world.

Monday, 22 September 2014


When Malcolm leaves the theatre
he likes to pretend he is one of the dancers.
He flings his scarf 
around his neck 
and he strides
through the Stage Door.

A crowd of fans
 are waiting outside.
They separate as he floats past,
nose in the air...
Excuse me
Let me pass 
Important person coming through.

They excuse him.
They let him pass.

They are waiting for
 Alessandra Ferri
 and David Wall

not for Malcolm
or Julian
or me.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Perms and Trims

When we walk into town
we go past Condells
the Ladies’

There must be
that go on in there

because they put
net curtains
in the window
and there are pictures
of ladies heads

with hair

like this
or like that

and Dads aren’t allowed
or boys,
only Mums
and girls.

The Mums come out
smelling of hairspray
and handbags

and the hair
always looks
stiff and important.

I can go in the barber’s
with Dad
but it’s boring.

There are newspapers
on the seats
but no comics
and a there’s a long wait,
so we never go on Saturdays.

If I have my haircut
Mr Trippet
puts a plank across the arms of the chair
and I have to
sit on that
because he’s too tall
to reach me otherwise.

He wraps a big sheet
round me
and buzzes my head with
his clippers.

“Shall we call you Shaun?”
says Mr Trippet.

He tells me
would I like spray?

Yes, please.
(Even though Mum makes me wash my hair straight away after.)

I cover my eyes
and he sprays.

Then he brushes his soft brush
all the way round the back of my neck
and untucks the cloth
he had tucked into my collar

and he gives me a tissue
to rub the itches with
while Dad pays.

“Something for the weekend, sir?”
says Mr Trippet

“Not this weekend, Jack,”
says Dad,
every time.

Then they laugh.

at Condells
the ladies don’t have haircuts
they have
and perms
and blowjobs.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

This is a bitter pill

This is a bitter pill
you offer me,

a bitter pill

it tastes of bile and pain
of vomit and despair

a hard encrusted
on your outstretched hand

What is your aim?

to fool me
into thinking
I am getting better
at this game?


is no way forward
it is from the past,
a learned response,
and one I choose not
to inflict upon myself

neural pathways
may be redrawn

may be taught
to forgive
to love

to touch,
to brush skin,
to stroke hair,
to heal

So take this pill
you wish to see me swallow

take it
and dispense it

I have no time for your

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Grandma And The Web

I taught Grandma how to use the internet
I hoped it would improve her final years
But I did not anticipate
The troubles that would lay in wait
And now I fear it’s all ending in tears.

I bought her a nice tablet and a dongle thing
I bought her quite a clever little mouse.
I thought she could watch kittens
as she sat and knitted mittens
or whatever grandmas do about the house.

I taught her how to write a little email
and I showed her how to take a pic or two
now she’s photoshopping,
phototinting, photocropping
I’m not sure that’s what grandmothers should do.

And now Granddad has got in on the act
He’s potty for the poker and the ebay
He likes to spend his cash
though it may be rather rash
and there’s really nothing anyone can say.

I got them onto facebook and on Google plus
I told her about myspace - which was silly.
I knew there’d be a scandal
when I heard her Twitter handle
You can tweet her now @grandmaloveswilly

And now I fear it’s started to go wrong
I bought her a webcam - she’s gone absurd.
Now there’s a film called “Grandma’s Tits”
that has fifty thousand hits
and, believe me, it’s not about the bird.

And she and Granddad like to chat on skype
They call me up but don’t know the cameras on
There’s Grandma eating Snickers
In just her bra and knickers
And granddad wearing nothing but his thong.

I think I’ll have to put a stop to it
I can’t let them carry on as such
They’re really just too randy
and the webcam is too handy
And Grandma’s Sextape really was too much.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Standing Stone


it’s a field
and here at its heart
a standing stone
a lichen-licked
and mossy

the effort
I shouldn’t wonder
of an afternoon or two’s labour
by some
Neolithic team
of hard handed

nudged by cows.

We’ve found our way here
having argued on the path,

and now I’ve followed you
over the grass
to sit for
a moment’s sulking
in this dewlapped

to contemplate
the time
we’ve spent together
and the changes,
that threaten our co-existence

do you even like me anymore?

And this stone
just is

and whether we leave hand in hand
or with me
to drag my heels behind you
actually doesn’t matter


does it…