Sunday, June 17, 2018

marvelous monstrosity.

I’ll use every trick I know,
Every device that I can muster;
Persuasion, reason, promises,
Shouted slogans and spluttering bluster,
Soaring metaphors, silly similes, fake indignation,
And, above all, articulate avalanches of absolute alliteration.

So why am I deploying
This tsunami of pompous verbosity?
It’s because our language

Is a marvelous monstrosity.

Priests, preachers, politicians, poets, playwrights, persuaders all

Spray us daily with this stuff,

I was going to say “don’t listen!”,
But I just can’t get enough.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Monday, June 04, 2018

A cetacean swallowed eighty plastic bags or so,

A cetacean swallowed eighty plastic bags or so,
then threw up a few more too late.
He was stuffed with
So much indigestible human made detritus,
Mistaken for nice juicy jellyfish
Or nutritious squid,
That he had no room left for food,
and starved.
Ahab and Queequeg
Must be turning in their graves,
They need not have sailed on the Pequod,
Across storm lashed seas,
Or ventured out into
Vast swelling waves,
Standing braced in the bows
Of flimsy whale boats,
Poised to hurl heavy harpoons.
They were born too soon,
If they had been twenty first century men,
They could have rested on deck on sun loungers,
Eating snacks;
Or on stormy days, dined in the ship’s restaurant
And if they threw their food wrappers overboard
Together with any other plastic packaging ,
That would have seen Moby Dick off pretty quick.
No more need for heroics, mad obsessions,
Or hurling windswept curses into roaring gales,
We’ve just gotta keep throwing stuff away,
And soon there’ll be no more whalesong,
Echoing long,
Around the oceans of our world.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

feeble consumer resistance

Sainsburys, oh Sainsburys,
Great grocer of Great Britain,
You sell me many things I need,
Such as paper to wipe my shit on.
You sell me carrots, you sell me soap,
And toothpaste, wine and fish;
And I could add item after item,
to this mundane list.
I’m not unusual, I am sure,
Some may buy less, some may buy more,
And when I read the words on your packaging, I doubt if I’m alone.
But recently that’s what I did,
whilst sitting on my porcelain throne.
“we’re sure you’ll love this product”,
Were the words that were inscribed,
on the unnecessary plastic wrapping
With my toilet paper inside
Now I love my relatives,
And I love my friends,
I love hearing swifts screaming in the sky,
I love watching poplars sway in the wind
And bright pebbles that please my eye.
It’s for me to decide
When told by my heart
Where I will direct my emotions
And I will not feel what I’m told to feel,
By a large and powerful grocer.
So Sainsburys, I’ll buy your produce
But I will not sell you my soul.,
And I’ll wipe my arse on your arsewipe,
But I’ll never love your toilet roll.

Friday, April 20, 2018


I was about to apply the varnish,
When it vanished.
I had been waiting months,
For a fine hot sunny day,
So that the varnish would quickly dry,
Once applied.
So I set my sculpture up, ready.
And prised the lid off the varnish tin,
With a screwdriver.
Stirred the thick tawny liquid,
Which gave off a sweet heady smell.
I dipped my brush,
And let surplus drops drip off,
Then turned,
Brush raised ready to start,
To apply a first coat.
But had gone!

Where was the wood I’d carved for weeks?
It was suddenly and totally absent.
And though I had not heard it fall,
I searched the floor,
And poked in nooks and crannies
Where it might somehow have rolled,
In vain.
And I was not dreaming,
So how could this be?
Were transcendent powers punishing me?
For my vain attempt to fashion
A graven image
Of an idea and an emotion?
What a stupid notion,
For I to try.

But at least I have now learned
A universal law

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

hibernating frog

I dug up a hibernating frog,
When I levered a buried paving stone,
Out of the ground,
Next to the pond.
I imagined that I was an archaeologist,
Or a grave robber,
As I cut away couch grass and weeds
And prised the slab onto its edge,
But as it hadn’t been buried that long,
The only treasures revealed,
Seemed to be worms and woodlice
Scurrying and writhing away
From the sudden unwelcome daylight.
Then I saw the little frog’s
Long legs kicking
As it hid in another crevice.
Sorry, amphibian pal,
To have so rudely woken you.
Spring’s on the way
But not quite all here yet,
So, catch some more kip,
Until the sun’s well up
And the swifts have returned.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


The dead bad giants
Are alive again,
Once my father believed
That they had been slain,
Or at least, battered
Down onto their knees;
And that Poverty, Ignorance,
Squalor and Disease
Could no longer crush us
With fear and grief;
But, sadly, that belief
Was overoptimistic.
And like something terrific and horrific,
The four zombified monsters
Are re-animated and undead,
Lumbering into a new century
Crushing those who cannot pay
Smashing all obstacles in their way,
Rewarding wealth and spurning need,
Driven by the power of greed
To ensure capitalism’s control
Of our bodies, our brains our souls.
So now we must dig a deeper hole
to bury them forever.


A Nice Nurse knocked on my front door,
So I showed her up the stairs,
To my first floor flat.
I asked her to observe,
The difficulty that I have
In ascending to my abode,
For it is an overweight and arthritic old man,
Who writes this ode;
And coughs as he does so, remembering,
Forty years of heavy smoking
Plus decades more of breathing,
Polluted city air.
So I pant up the steps,
And sit, wheezing, in my chair,
As the Nice Nurse questions me.
She asks if I can wipe my own arse,
And how frequently I pee,
How I catch the bus or train,
And, how many pills I take,
And when I walk with my walking stick,
What progress do I make?
At the end of the interview, she explains
That in a month or so,
A verdict on my payment will be made,
It could be cut, it could be raised, it could even be doubled
Then she holds up a bucket and says:
“or just kick this now,
Save the government some money and trouble.”