H’re satteth tabl’d in Oxf’rd’s heart,
Covet’d tav’rn from yesteryear.
Present to hark on what folks doth sayeth,
Trap their w’rds inside mine own weir.
Hoyday! Nearby, a sir did request,
A bombard of brown sauce to borrow.
By sight, his wrinkly, bact’ria’d fing’rs,
Hath brought unto me deepened sorrow.
“Withdraw!” I demanded, “Wend hence with thee!
Th’re did lie plenty m’re at the counter!”
That gent did reply “Thou art c’rrect,
I’ll troubleth thee with nay furth’r bant’r!”
“On thy way fusty fart”, I hath said out aloud
As yond p’or gent but soft hobbl’d hence.
“Dareth toucheth this condiment with so filthy hands,
I holidam to nail thee to a fence!”
Green eyes and brown hair she greets me.
Straight-off my hunger ignites.
Hot panini – goats cheese and roast veg,
A combo designed to delight.
“An artist?” she asks me directly,
With candour remarkably free.
“Well, collage sometimes,” words stumble-out.
“While lately there’s been more poetry.”
“You know Simonov, Konstantin?
His war poem lament Wait For Me?”
“I don’t,” I say, “will look him up
Online, a translation, I will seek.”
Relaxed, we spoke of language, prose and verse,
Goals strived for, ahead of growing old.
Aware the queue had stretched out through the door,
I set off with my take-out, now stone cold.
Heavy rain fell throughout the night,
Is still falling early morning.
Cats stare out from behind the glass,
Ignoring nature’s calling.
“Dad, can you make it stop?”
My three all say to me.
“We can’t stay inside all day,
You know we have to be free!”
I say “There’s nothing I can do ’bout it,
My furry little friends.
It’s God’s way of washing
And starting over again.”
“We simply don’t believe you!”
They mewed and stamped their paws.
“We have no truck or faith in,
Such random, immutable laws!”
“And,” Otto – the youngest,
Did carry on to say,
“Just who is this God you talk of,
Adrift, by myself alone,
In the wintery city,
This alien largely remained,
Cheerful, polite and witty.
Carried atop the crest,
Of a rapid retail crusade,
Onward toward the centre,
And where the profits are made.
Here, the markets are bulging,
With clothing, books and food.
A delightful melange for the senses,
One’s spirit is lifted and wooed.
Watch as transactions are bartered,
In full orchestral grace.
This cooperative demonstration,
By the sapien race.
Sellers shout and declare,
In a strangely sounding tongue,
Draw out each of their words,
Into a rhythmical song.
Preparing myself to purchase,
Using a new currency,
Decorative discs in my pocket,
I find, mean nothing to me.
With no idea, nor clue,
Of what I can really afford,
Through brief negotiation,
We near a peaceful accord.
Slow down the exchange process,
Stop Earth spinning around.
Until finally sealing the deal,
Then take home, what I have found.
Turned my ankle over on a shiny super hard conker,
laid on the pavement, fallen from an urban horse chestnut tree.
If only I was now a whole big bunch of decades younger,
I’d have strung it and obliterated all of my rivals
during break time, in crowded conker competitions at school,
challengers failing to crack my golden brown miracle find.
Proclaimed as champ and regarded as exceptionally cool,
perhaps the resulting confidence would have changed my whole life.
Visited an art gallery
at lunchtime. I felt less
than engaged with the works on show –
maybe because of stress.
An old lady spied earlier,
now out of her wheelchair,
she came shuffling into the room
as I was leaving there.
Raising her black gloved hand to me,
gently, I placed my hand
in hers and she said something I
did not quite understand.
“I am almost one.” She told me.
I waited, she stroked her
fingers down my fluffy fleece top
and said “I like your fur.”
In return I replied, “Thank you.”
blushed, with some sort of smirk.
At this she smiled, watched me depart.
Break over, back to work.
I had a small idea of what was going on
before teen years, but really not so much and
I had no reason to deal with it, directly
At 16 – 21, more idea
but life was busy, I remained occupied, enraptured or stoned
what happened out there, I really didn’t share
From that point on, I felt the economy squeeze
coming on, effecting me, from out there
I never experienced any sense of freedom from worries about money
And work made me miserable
By my late thirties
Personal relationships continued to dominate
and at sometime in my forties
that’s when it changed
like slipping silently through to another plane
When the world, on a political, economical, social and personal basis
went ultra loopy
And all those things, have been getting worse ever since
I imagine life will be just unimaginably awful
come the next decade
Unless I take action
and begin my second childhood now
quickly becoming comfortably
and undoubtedly deceased before
I notice it all going weird once more
A glimpse of his reflection
in a mirror
saw an old man
of cold water shock
Events in his life
stretched across time
Behind his eyes
under his skin
nothing had changed
I often feel the urge to clean
Dirty road signs, 30
Speed limit, a fingerpost, route
Confirmation, place name
Or neglected row of bollards
And refresh a telephone box
Sanitise the handset
Sparkle the windows, leave a bowl
Of potpourri on shelf
After all, the obscuring grime
Put there, for some of it
I’m responsible. A visit
Proves so tempting, to squirt
A green, environmentally
-Friendly cleaner and rub
With a soft cloth material
Join me, come on! Just spray, wipe, clean
And go. Let’s do it – yes!
It’s sure to catch on everywhere
Once they see what we’ve done
The timing’s quite tight
is my belief:
the Pistols rise to fame
His last performance
the summer of ’77
When did they receive initial airplay
in the USofA?
I am weaned-off
internet search engines
I reckon a guess
is good enough
What would The King
have made of the anarchists?
And they of him?
“An imagined meeting
a social exchange”
Would an expression of awe determine the looks on their little faces?
Would he have been gracious and expressed warmth?
You might think not
but it could have been
Quickly passing by
feelings of awkwardness
Talk about home
Mom and Pop
Mother and Father
lost and living
A little dog from long ago
the family pet
someone suggests a cappella
They do it
Arms resting over each other’s shoulders
although careful not to mess up anyone’s hair
Fist-bumps happen at the end
and “Whenever you’re next in town…”
That’s how it’d go
as far as anyone knows