Illustrated poems by John Di Girolamo
You’ll end up
a bad ‘un.
No going back
but on what you’ve done.
It’s a risky game.
You play till you drop:
a few hundred metres
onto the rocks.
You’ll hear the gulls
and the sea-spray crushed
but will you jump
even when pushed?
It All Comes Out In The End
You can bury it underground
sink it underwater
send it out to space
When it sprouts
or floats to the surface
or comes down to earth
It’s as plain as the nose on your face.
You can burn it,
set it on fire.
Have it eaten by the sows,
have it gone away forever.
When the ashes and the bones
get to make breaking news
when the ashes and the bones
bring to life DNA
It’s as plain as the nose on your face.
The dog is Vic
& Tim is the twit
cheering the flying archers on
as they aim upon the poor dog (like a King Kong).
So, how did Vic get there
On top of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square?
Well, since a pup, on the uptake he’d always been very quick
The World’s First Climbing Dog was our Vic!
So, that day, he’d climbed up that sea-faring hero
Causing a scare in the square don’t you know.
Out went the call to dog control
Who, with tales of a giant dog, brought arrow and bow.
But seconds after this collage was stuck
The flying archers made a dive and a duck.
For hardly could they believe their luck
That there in the square was The World’s First Climbing Dog! WTF!
As reinforcements arrived
And, to Tim’s great surprise,
The archers turned their aim fairly and squarely on him.
So, no more gratuitous cheering came from that Tim.
Soon Vic climbed down to a hero’s reception
And was patted by all, with one obvious exception,
Tim, who by now, was lying quite dead
As onto his flag his British blood bled.
Later, the report on the incident stated
‘Though disturbing the peace, the dog in question was feted
And the archers were well within the law
To aim at the man, who was clearly baying for blood. That’s all.’
The British public agreed with the verdict
And voiced their support for Vic.
‘Britain is a nation of animal lovers’, added the PM.
‘No one has the right to hold the Union Jack like that. Tim’s actions, I fully condemn.’
So, what’s the moral of this collage and story?
Never treat animals badly. And never cheer at someone’s predicament or it might get gory.
*No animals (not even the one next to Tim) were hurt in the making of this collage.
Treading the tight-rope with gusty guile
As far away as a horizontal mile
keep everything balanced until it teeters
like snapping a ruler at 32 centimetres.
He cut himself off.
Didn’t answer the phone.
When the doorbell went
He wasn’t at home.
He simply switched off
In a dark depression
Kinda turning him on.
A man going down
For a very long time.
Not behind bars
But a put-on smile.
No-one else knew
Of his inner other.
A bust of himself.
His own Big Brother.
She felt down and out of it.
Looking out from her look-out post.
Some far-off fifteenth-century ghost.
Guests would swear her eyes had moved.
Her portrait face, hung on the wall.
Behind the canvas, keeping still
Out of sight, she’d eavesdrop all.
She wasn’t happy and she knew it.
Happiness she’d never known.
Not a soul had ever come close
And closeness, itself, she’d never shown.
Suits of armour in the hallway.
Manuscripts by candlelight.
She didn’t speak to anyone
But wrote her diary every night.
The streets are empty when a blink ago were full.
The buses running with no passengers are just the ticket for wasting fuel.
The beggars have nobody to beg to
or have a two-metre vaudevillian wooden arm out if they do.
The local drunk shouts out to walled-in deaf ears
You’ll die of the virus! I’ll die of alcoholism! as he holds his bottle of beer.
Supermarkets are still open to shoppers in their cellophane masks
who weigh themselves on the scales and stick the prices on their arse.
Dogs are a new leash of life to get out the house for a stroll
as owners, tongues hanging out, jump with excitement as police patrol.
You can’t go out unless absolutely necessary or you’re in the doghouse
as helicopters above make sure anyone below looks like a mouse.
Statistics is the new board game and quiz show everyone’s glued to on their sets
As hospitals have stress shooting off the graphs in their attempts to offset
the sad, inevitable truth that people, cut off from their loved ones, are dying
and funerals can’t even be had for any god’s want of trying.
go hell for leather versus parka.
A rough‘n’tumble bank holiday beach
and the motorcycle rumble lambretta screech.
You can’t cope keep control
when the tears rattle reel‘n’roll.
Your moods at one another’s throats, black‘n’blue,
bring a lump to yours too.
And the mods‘n’rockers really kick in
when your head starts to bounce bump‘n’spin.
While Elvis the Pelvis sticks in the boot in Marlon Brando gear
Moon the Loon legs it, kitted out in his zoot, along Brighton Pier.
You feel tense under the strain
with your heart’s crash helmet dented again.
Round after round of knuckle sandwich fish‘n’chip fisticuffs
‘cos the mods‘n’rockers don’t ever let up.
Raindrop bodies cloud-gather ready to teem down
for a downpour on the battleground.
The forces of good and evil and in-between
are rolling up with mangled up metal ribcage spines.
Black crow words uneasily perch on carbon paper cable lines.
Had worn her heart on a sleeve.
Hid it when she’d had to grieve.
She’d cried for much less since
for every unworthy prince.
A moat of tears had flooded her moat.
Her drawbridge had buckled under the letters she wrote.
One winter morn, the snow had settled, and lay
where she would a following summer’s day.
America loomed large, as Ireland became a speck
in the distance, and on deck.
She drank to the emerald isle
And fell asleep with a smile.
A grandmother she would be
Over years and years, over that sea.
It may last for just a minute, or at its own pace
But if it’s the latter, fairy-tale tellers will veer from liqueur to lace.