Monday, November 28, 2022


 I can’t seem get my legs to move

In the correct sequence

So as ineffectual as any Liberal,

I am standing aloof above

A contest between left and right.

Walking has become a problem

Requiring serious and detailed planning,

Long ago, I must have learned it,

Now, I’ve forgotten how

I ceased to be a quadruped

To become a waddling toddler instead,

In places along the long way that I’ve walked

I’ve lost this skill from time to time

To fall unbalanced, drugged, drunk.

Then I’ve re-righted

Brushing off embarrassing memories,

Until now, when I am a tripod at best.

Stick supported, as predicted

In the Sphinx’s riddle

I wince and moan, staggering around my home,

Wearing in an artificial new knee,

And while the ball and socket grinds,

Bone on bone,

In the leg that the surgeon left alone;

The walking me got up and strode away,

Leaving an old raspberry behind.

Sunday, November 06, 2022

my precautionary principle

Arthritis and Coronavirus,

These twin demons sit on my shoulders,

Gibbering in my ears like malevolent monkeys:

‘Don’t go out, don’t go out, you can’t go out,

Your legs will give way,

As you attempt to board a bus,

Then you will lie grovelling in the gutter:

And even if you did manage to get on,

You would inhale infected droplets and die.’

But I decide to defy the demons

And pass my front door frontier.

I want to wander in all the everyday

That used to bore me,

I wish to see people ignore me.

And I will not come to harm

Because I will be prepared

Precautions will be taken

No detail will be spared.

I will check to see

That I have my keys,

Then I will bury a spare set in a strongbox,

In a place that only I know.

I will carry a phone with a charger

And a power pack linked to the solar panel

That I attached to the top of the crash helmet

Which I don in case of sudden meteor impacts

Or suddenly falling airliners.

I zip up my water and flameproof outer garments,

Clamber into steel toecapped safety boots

Strap on hardened steel greaves

to protect my shins and ankles.

I cover nose and mouth with a surgical mask,

Connected to the oxygen tank

That I tow behind me

In a specially adapted shopping trolley

I gaze out through polarized goggles.

Then plod a few yards

Before tripping over a cracked paving stone

To lie grovelling in the gutter.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

I make the catalogue again

 I make the catalogue again,

Moving my father’s paintings

Around and between rooms.

I relabel them, 

Enter details and dimensions

Into a machine,

Which wasn’t even thought of

When the paint was laid down.

Some paintings are unfinished

Suggesting schemes and visions

That never came to fruition.

I see images of life

Happening before I was born,

People building haystacks with pitchforks,

Bombed streets, ack ack guns

And barrage balloons,

Vases of bright flowers

And portraits of dead beauties.

All now long gone.

I too will depart soon,

But the brush strokes, oil and canvas

May live longer.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022


 Night time pissing

Is no longer what it was,


It has now been given a medical name.

A pseudo-latin word

Has been bestowed

Upon the golden rain.

It is no longer any good 

To rise from your slumbers

And commemorate Jimmy Riddle.

No, you can no more

Piss or piddle.

You can’t have a wazz.

Or go for a wee;

When the bat flits,

And the owl hoots

No more peeing for you, mate,

You must now nocturate.

Sunday, October 09, 2022




If you get up early in summer,

You may see me, lazing

Sunbathing in the first rays

Of the day.

Lying, yawning, content, alone

On the lawn that you thought

That you rented or even owned,

You probably thought

It was part of your home;

But it’s not,

It’s mine

And I’ve been living here all the time

Making my bed

Under your garden shed.

This whole street of

Discreet little Englishperson’s castles

Clenched tight by suburban arseholes

Is not your land,

It’s mine

I hunt across it in my own time,

And you seldom see me

Unless I want you to

And I show myself so you can know clearly

Who is the true owner of the territory,

The urbane suburban fox,

My compliments, that’s me.

Adam Smith's Sock Problem 2

 Adam Smith's Sock Problem

Sock, Sock, Sock, emergency
There are no Socks upon my feet,
There are no Socks that I can see
Socks Socks Socks immediately

Woke up in the morning
Birds are singing in the tree
But I see toes in front of me
So I seek Socks with urgency

Sock, Sock, Sock, emergency
There are no Socks upon my feet,
There are no Socks that I can see
Socks Socks Socks immediately

My Socks are vermin dirty or
My Socks are soaking wet
But I gotta wear them or go barefoot
I got a marked absence of hosiery

Sock, Sock, Sock, emergency
There are no Socks upon my feet,
There are no Socks that I can see
Socks Socks Socks immediately

But am I gonna sit here
Til my feet grow fur?
No! I’m gonna get up and get going
Be a Sock entrepreneur,

Sock, Sock, Sock, emergency
There are no Socks upon my feet,
There are no Socks that I can see
So I gonna start up a Sock factory

Gonna raise up some capital
Gonna go it alone
Get them proles knitting
Inna Free trade zone

Sock, Sock, Sock, emergency
There are no Socks upon my feet,
There are no Socks that I can see
Make more Socks immediately

Now I’ve started moving, I ain’t gonna stop
Like a shark in the water,
I keep swimming or I drop
I won’t let anyone else make any socks

Yes it’s Sock, Sock, Sock, emergency
You all gotta buy your socks from me
I wiped out all competition, so now you see
I gotta Sock, Sock, Sock, monopoly

Thursday, September 29, 2022


 The Earth is rare,

And there’s rare earth there

With long dead forests

To frack, drill and mine

To warm the world

And poison the air

Until all the carbon’s done.

Then we’ll dig up the lithium

Whilst those who still live

Can get irradiated

By the nuclear waste

That we’ve created.

It’s like watching a toddler

Put a finger

Into an electric socket.

Such a beautiful planet

With so many idiots on it.