Saturday, 29 June 2019

Trivial Pursuits

Trivial Pursuits

I’ve heard some pray you’re choking,
suffocating on thick fluff of some groping,
kennel-slum-dog cough carrying,
trash bin trough tarrying,
three legged amputee shabby whippet,
disembowelled during moulting season;
whilst seeking some scabby bitch on heat
in the smogged smelter of high summer.
Cocking its leg on each corner:
no lamppost too high
no gutter too low.
Stacatto coughing, suck in black tongue,
you hump in time to punctured lung.
Not me, though, I’m far too convivial.
I just hope it’s nothing trivial.

They’ll kneel nightly at the altar pleading,
you’re bowled out, skittled in Gibraltar
unwarily smitten; lightly bleeding and bitten,
spat at, malice aforethought, menaced by
three or four bladdered barbary apes
scratching skin for fleas, just for the sake
of spreading their scabied disease;
rabid, covered in boils and sores,
so you’re forced to dash for it:
over the top, cable car zip wiring,
plummet deathwards like a cut price
living daylights James Bond
into the jaws of the briny pond
below. Not me, though, I’m biddable.
I just hope it’s nothing trivial.

Pusillanimous priests ball billowing smoke,
rattle their beads, prepare the rope,
observe your fingernailed digging yellowed toes,
implore foul fungus found there below
to wildfire spread, breed and grow.
Mushrooms deep root in cankered skin.
Serpentine scales, camomile resistant, vile
hoods cover pussed up eyelids, blind trials
fending off truffle trained carnivorous hogs
that long escaped base drooling dogs
who tuck in hearty. Until sated at last,
leave what remains of guts and brains
to wash away down degenerate drains.
Not me, of course, I’m a liberal.
I just hope it’s nothing trivial.

Whispering gathered congregations beseech
in tongues, supplicate, genuflect and reach
out to one, who might divine and teach
you and yours a simple lesson; hear your screech
as your left nipple is pegged then tangled
in the rotary washing line and mangled
when fiercely unexpected northerly winds
whip up a storm that spitefully spins
you in an untempered, tearaway fashion,
revolutions rapid in hate and passion;
hammer toss some limp shell back up that hill
as audiences beneath cheer, point and thrill
in appreciation at the sight of soaring swill.
I’ll not be there, though, I’m immaterial.
I just hope it’s nothing trivial.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Butterflies and Dandelions

Butterflies and Dandelions

Along the winding paths to school,
hand slipping through hand,
we brushed through hedgerows,
plucking dandelion clocks,
with me more or less lost, feather
bent amongst gypsy heathers,
mottled white and scarboro fair.
Insects eavesdrop our childish debates;
which clock has the best tick-tock,
racing the other to blow the seeds
gentle parachuting the summer breeze.
Soon spent with hardly a sneeze,
a huff, and a puff and blown down
by one boy’s effortless smile;
one grown up’s nostalgic frown.
Arrested a red sunset specked ladybird
nested between bramble leaves,
tickles your little fingers as it weaves.
Count seven spots with fledgling pride,
your age is daubed on its back,
amongst a flash of orange dawn,
cracks crimson casing and it’s gone.
Flights of cabbage whites, red striped
admirals, flitter in soft streaked mists
amongst cuckoo spit sun kissed;
you split and dash, trust to guile,
rush the road with brash glance
wayward, rebellious unruly smile,
hands stretched to clutch at chance.
Futile, for they simmer and evaporate,
scatter skywards and separate.
So I walk across and take your hand,
full of righteous ticking off, but calm
chuckle, I’m not yet too old to run.
But I am, you know, I really am.
At the school gates, up heels, butterflying
vanishes, blonde tousle headed grin
amid other seeds that catch the wind.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

You Don’t Only Live Twice

You Don’t Only Live Twice

You don’t only live twice,
It’s more delicate than that.
Infinite space is interiored
by the choices you made:
some willing, yet others wolf-cornered
like boxes inside little boxes,
balsa packing cases settled deep
in the cargo ship’s hold:
sabotage compass and chronometer;
fo'c'sle unbound for rolling horizons
absent, stabbed quartermaster flown
without leave or missing bosun’s call,
adrift the silent vessel falls
out of this world and into the other.

Don’t try to keep false lookout
shoreside, hushed callout any sort
of half recalled name;
whisper man overboard,
short haul wheel, starboard degrees
or divide port: it is all the same,
all in vain, he’s long left astern;
slipped quiet through the backdoor.

No cardboard speeches or gifts will do,
no thrown roses from the jetty,
no tremble touching of blue collar:
sad belayed after the fact,
breached and holed, negligence’s rift
sank him way forwards to the back;
twisted fast and far out of time.

Somewhere within memory mist
brief condensation coalesces
on thick tissue-glass portholes,
scour, rub swiftly, wipe it out,
close cover, defend against
the moistured fissures of excuse
on your land’s horizon. To point
your finger at yesterday’s turning tide
or swimming moon
is fat futile at best;
you laid that incarnation to rest,
in unquiet slumber
where now, every new-born waking minute
is hewn from firm decision
at your inconsiderate haste
to drown those seven soft seas to waste.

He is gone now. All of them are.
Plotted off planned predicted course;
that happens you know.
Every ship that sails is star tossed,
every sailor who leaves is lost
to land; must heaven-embrace cosmos
relatively, while you age,
stranded, becalmed, run aground,
left to seed, left to rage,
feeling your bones brittling
beyond all recognition, cursing
that all you safe-killed must live
within your phased mind
return on occasion, smile and forgive.

We don’t only live twice.
Only a criminal would claim that
every gentle murdered sailor’s life
is a sextant fixed positioned mirror.
Look into that fragmented glass,
it is only you who see at last
wild roving seas offset static time;
landlocked, stagnant mind
where the two lives you live
 befit your crime.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth

Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth

I know what eats you.
Tangles your insides into knots,
like venomed serpent skeins
constricts the blood to your veins,
mortars flesh some minted 
pastel green.
Mottles you, throttles your
iced dreamed-frozen heart, 
tears like hail
forked head devouring tail
uncrushed by your own woman seed;
oh, far too late: now to grieve.
Snaking backtracked betrayal. Greed.
Dismayed at all it has achieved
when weighed 
against friendship thieved.

They’ll crucify you for it, 
but you know that of course,
unhappy sits the head that wears the crown.
Those who play most foully often win,
but thereafter crush-shoulder sin
sport puzzled frown upon the brow,
for where is all the laughter now?

It’s dog-eared your face,
easy now, to look and trace
the whiplines there.
Crime slashes deep shrouds, 
cloud blacked eyes from lack of sleep:
and though you wish to smile was free,
you observe but you do not see
that I have lost things too:
And you know what eats me,
the scorpion I swallowed did not suffer,
it lives and feasts in my gut,
strikes his flash venom toxic flame
slowly seeps his poison to the brain,
leisurely now, long time does creep
concrete set crepuscular hours, weep
for friends lost to canker callous,
outstretch palm tree hands
to enemy’s jealous
sharp tacked bloodied nails, flesh to wood
where all that was once true and good
turned by agonies lathe to filthy history.

Now reading your degree 
in misrepresentation
is the mission of the dying nation:
blame all; it is easy to fall into temptation.
Laid traps into which you willing walked,
soundproofed love’s mouths against talk
setting friend on friend,
shape you world records in backstabbery,
lead-clad new lines in smash and grabbery,
dial down children’s hope to sit and gloat
on the pinnace of austerity’s shabbery.

Oh, masterful masturbation 
over seedy decline
legalising murder, 
in the name of crime.
It hurts, that I know what’s eating you,
copyblots my mind but
alas, no Nile of tears will ever flush
both scorpion and snake from that rank,
fetid withered bush.
Looking back, can it ever be enough?
Still, sit you incestuous, recall
you, entitle and pay each the other
what silver bespokes talentless hacks;
no going back from giving heaven the sack
that now the ice inside can never crack.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

There Are Worse Things

There Are Worse Things

Are there worse things
than passive smoking
in all probability?

Government public information
warns the unwary and unwise
that excessive sugar
floods food these days;
harmful trailers, on colour television,
spoon-feeding the easily consumed
and Rome burns while
obesity broadens its long arm.

And look here: alcohol is cheap
causing carnage on the streets,
disobedience and unrest.
Benefit scroungers are rife,
pram raiding high street food banks,
kindling deficit and hardship,
soaring costs, rising so fast
that soon it won’t be worth living at all.
They’re not joking.

But passive smoking.

You raise me an eyebrow.
I raise you an epidemic whisper
of contagious cancer.
Certainly, there must be a link,
it makes the world stink,
clings fast to our smoky clothes.

Don’t waste your tears on smokers,
banish them quick from propping up bars,
and dripping ash from idling cars,
flicking simmered cinder on the tar.

A sound investment in healthcare:
blitz all glamour from the card package,
extort tax to limit their damage.
It’s rumoured that perfumed mist
hisses like deadly poison
through forked teeth and pursed lips.
And fond they are of tonguing,
spotlessly clean,
the ashtray’s flecked droppings.

No, there’s not much worse
than inhaling someone’s selfish smoke:

It’s like a cheap cladded structure,
smouldering on cityscape skyline
that incinerates in silent screams
its citizens, aflame in their dreams,
howling long into an eternal night
from which they will never wake,
flounder and grasp each other, 
child, father and mother
crumble, dazed to death 
through choking corridors,
in search of the unbuilt outdoor.

A construct robust as your austere
fag packet, shoved up, thoughtless
perpendicular, burning too high
for fire escape or ladders.

Well heeled and fat,
flaccid Government bean counters
sit florid, in their well won fresh air,
sip cool bottled, 
sugar free highland spring water,
check tick lists, pat pockets 
and trouser profit margins;
feeling toasty with a single malt
condemn us to smoking holes.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

The Friendship Zone

The Friendship Zone

Mirror, signal, starboard manoeuvre
smooth, with the wry humour
of battleaxe to cruiser holed in one.
Lay it on with a builder’s trowel:
that cosmetic ornamental smile,
press her, stagger hands
for the desired joint width.
 So, he’s been parallel parked,
without blessing or consent
bricked up with thick cement
in the friendship zone,
is what she blithely assumes
without a care in the world
this girl; only some churl
would scowl as she whistles
her no nonsense song:
Is hydrated lime really necessary?
Bitter lemon better by far
before leaving the safety of the car.
No, nothing’s wrong.
Safe lies he within the painted lines,
tainted, in faded shades of flag white,
soiled by burnt tyre scuffed grit
boxed in and there he silent sits,
reading text and tinder messages
with sardonic smirk: Dobson,
eyeing cars on either side
too close to risk opening doors,
such schemes would surely scratch,
certain dent, prevent, hinder the cause
against cinder loneliness.
Can he sit here forever, though?
Well now, but why even try,
for there she fanciful flies
outward bound
one million measured miles
above and beyond the parking lot,
ears blocking, mind rotting,
creaming she in clotted blood:
for it’s better to travel in hope
than arrive, with permission to land,
then open thighs upon demand.
But boot free the tailgate,
because his wife doesn't understand
probably; their separate room to roam
until ever turning each to home
before the day burns too late,
drench her in smelting silver kissing
goodbyes, already he's gone missing
but left with promises to phone;
she sits in departures alone.
Until, no doubt, she backtracks with key,
and wretched plan to set him free,
unite and keep him company.
For is it you, or is it me?
Already long since flown,
Dobson seldom is heard to moan
at those parked inside the friendship zone.