it all started with a dirty fork

It all started with a dirty fork
In a cafe, which had taken an age to settle upon
A family run affair, with each member pleased to see you

His weekly breakfast taken, in the same window seat
A variety of characters shared in their own dining experience
Overheard conversations were as you’d imagine
He quickly felt a like a regular, a patron

And the prices were very reasonable too
A dirty fork is hard to clean with a paper napkin
The raising of his hand and an eyebrow
Failed to catch the attention of the young waitress

Eating his breakfast proved tricky, with only a knife
The next week, armed with his own pristinely clean cutlery
He noticed a stubborn smudge of ketchup
Stuck to the edge of his plate
As his meal was placed before him

The following week, his own plate, cup and saucer
Along with his own cutlery
The week after, condiments collected from his kitchen
And a tablecloth, from a kitchen drawer

I’d might as well bring my own chair next time
He’d thought
It was a fold-away and not too much trouble to carry
The table had legs that folded away neatly, too

The family members of the cafe showed tolerance
Suppressing frowns when he arrived
Complimenting him on his silver candlestick holders
And lighting the candles, with the matches he provided

When he brought his own food with him
They smiled kindly and cooked it without comment
And later, when he cooked his own food in his own pans
The hard-working sons, made space for him in their kitchen

On each visit, he changed the lampshade and bulb
That hung over his table
Unrolled a rug
And hung floral-patterned curtains, he’d had ‘made to order’

Only after an emotional outburst contesting the bill
For the first and last time
Did Sr Rodrigues ask him to leave, to take all his things
And to never come back again


I prepare for running by buying the right clothes.

No more the cotton t-shirt, absorbent and heavy with sweat.

Instead, ultra light fabric, cut to a vest.


A pair of double shorts.

“Double shorts”?

A tight-fitting, stretchy material, housed within a classically styled pair.


A cap, to protect my head from the rain,

Socks, trainers,

Inserts within my running shoes, to protect my precious arches.


Unsure how I am going to transport bottles of water,

I plan hideaway points

In the branches of trees.


It’s been a while since I ran.

Between five and six years.

Initially, it’s going to be a killer.


I understand this.

But there’s only one way I will shift

This expectant belly of a hippo.


For flatness, first will come pain.

And suffering.

But I am ready.


I think

I am ready.

Pretty sure, at least.

i repeat myself

I wonder of the last meaningful word I’ll utter, mutter,
perhaps merely think of, for that matter,
if I have lost the desire or ability to speak.
As a baby, I know for sure,
repetition formed my world.
Habits grew.
The least most era, spiked around my teens.
But since then, an ever decreasing and spiralling descent has closed in around me
with usage of the same words and phrases, the same dialogues and stories.
My time will come, when without realising I tell my own children,
of an episode I have told to them only a short while before.
I can imagine their patient faces.
Unless, I am able to do an unknown, unspecified thing about this now,
stop all this repeating
and say something new.



Held aloft by the crazy man,

Walking the centre of the road,

In his plastic anorak, wellies, and nothing much else.

Sitting northwards of the jet-stream,

Great Britain took the rainfall,

Normally divided up between all of Europe’s lands.

Instead, the continent baked,

While the UK became sodden.

Experiencing precipitation,

For prolonged periods,




And night,

In August, 2017.

Her Finger Up My Nose

A tourist in town, quickly swiveled around. An arm extended upwards, pointing.

Before I could move, a finger went up my nose and my head tilted onto a 45 degree axis.


I reached onto tippy-toes to disengage, but slipped back down onto the soles of my feet.

The fit of the digit was snug, way better than any one of my own.


My arms swayed gently, while I waited for the expected withdrawal.

I hoped her finger was clean, it seemed to smell okay to me.


A look of shock had crossed her face, perplexed, she froze.

I remained impaled, until passersby assisted, lifting me free.

First Run in 5 Years


I ran.

And I walked,

In between running.

It seemed a sensible thing.


I did not absorb the natural surroundings.

I tried, but couldn’t fix my attention on sights or sounds.

My thoughts were focused on the present, when I’d next walk,

When I’d next run, looking for markers, that bench there,

A tree here, when this person walks past.


A mix of runners, walkers, lovers & friends.

Couples seated on benches, in quiet conversation.

Older, married couples, strolling in the morning sun.

Not so much conversation with them, I noted.

Enough has been said, over all the years.

Some muscles pulled gently,

I eased off in response.

Quickly felt tired,

30 mins,




Next week,

When I’ll try again,

Maybe only 30 minutes.

Slowly, but surely build up.


“I’m Not Having That!”

It came as a shock,

A sensationalist presenter of a tabloid talk show,

Dead, killed, live on TV.


He had been crouched low,

In front of the set.

Goading an increasingly agitated-looking guest.

Waving typed-out notes in one hand,

Pointing his microphone accusingly in the other.


The murmuring of the audience increased in volume as he spat out formulaic provocations.


Where were the security staff,

As the burly youth rose from his chair?

All at once running and swinging his leg backwards,

Before bringing his boot into contact

With the underside of his inquisitor’s chin.



In less than two seconds.


It was shown and re-shown, endlessly on the news.

Stopping just before the critical moment,

To spare viewers of an unpleasant scene,

As a body lifted up and a head snapped backwards.


A mercifully,

Quick release.

For all concerned

And for all people everywhere,

Including ancestors and descendants.