Illustrated poems by John Di Girolamo
After all the bombs have died out
there’s nothing like calm.
No one’s died down
and everyone’s come to harm.
After everything’s called it a day
and the dawn’s gone to sleep
most of the most live the least
and fewer than the few believe in peace.
In football, not everyone wants it.
Not everyone gets it (even if they want it).
There’s the chance to win, the chance to lose
with those looming penalties as a brilliant bonus or shitty cruels!
In life, you’d normally want it, wouldn’t you?
Unless, for some reason, penalties would take you to all-time lows.
But, in life, I’d say everyone wants it
but not everyone gets it as the final whistle blows.
Extra time – I wish you’d had it.
90 minutes didn’t quite do you justice on the whole.
Extra time – I’d have loved you to score a golden goal.
Extra time – are you playing for it?
Find enclosed some posts going backwards
Start from the start and they’re going forwards
Find enclosed another unpublished poem
by an author to push up daisies, still unknown
find enclosed my C.V. and application
to the city’s mental institution
find enclosed what i couldn’t say
the words came out anyway
find enclosed a paper dream
it hardly took up a tenth of a ream
find enclosed a multitude of sins
i swear to God that’s what God brings
find enclosed evidence inside
if truth be known, i would have lied
find enclosed a drop of rain
you’ll never feel on your face again
find enclosed a ransom note
and a piece of your ear if you hate what i wrote
find enclosed the missing link
chain-smoking as i drink
find enclosed a grim prediction
if i don’t give up this tobacco addiction
find enclosed strictly confidential
you shouldn’t read other people’s mail
find enclosed to someone i miss
sealed with a loving kiss
find enclosed a poison pen letter
anger in ink to make me feel better
find enclosed a further example
of how the beatles are unrivalled
find enclosed a ‘final note’ draft
if things should get too much by half
find enclosed a tongue in cheek
that jokes and japes whenever it speaks
find enclosed the damning proof
poets need not write ‘forsooth’
find enclosed a tenner
please return to sender
find enclosed words and pictures
my diary as a permanent fixture
find enclosed the year one of my loved ones died
wheeling them out to the garden outside
find enclosed my last will and testament
i hope you get what i meant
find enclosed a bit of a gimmick
find enclosed my e-mail address
the pigeon’s a bit passé i guess
find enclosed a portrait of me
the only bits i’d let you see
find enclosed my letter of resignation
giving in to pent-up frustration
find enclosed magazine cuttings
and glossy magazine editor tuttings
find enclosed what i learnt at school
and what i thought about when playing pool
find enclosed this poem’s end
but you decide, it all depends
find enclosed the year one of my loved ones was born
willing them to yawn
find enclosed an apology
i didn’t mean it, don’t you see?
find enclosed a bit of doubt
but, then again, that’s what life’s about
find enclosed a P.S.
my answer is yes
find enclosed something surreal
but ordinary and almost real
find enclosed copyright
don’t copy it, or else, alright?
find enclosed a fear of death
but not a fear of nothingness
find enclosed a sense of history
the only thing that rhymes with mystery
This one will dictate the pace
throughout the race.
Others will fall by the wayside
with its aggressive ride.
But don’t expect it to finish the course
a winner. It’s not that kind of horse.
This one has a lot of promise
But will lead you down a bookmakers’ abyss.
Photogenic from the first shot of the starter’s pistol
To the backstretch, this much-fancied filly
Usually breezes in, having won on the bridle.
Even so, there’s always a paparazzi photo-finish frenzy.
Getting the red carpet treatment, her jockey’s silks sport a Hollywood star
As she parades in the paddock with a sure thing SP.
As a homebred frontrunner, she’s the most national velvety by far.
One to watch; she always gets the trip, and is rarely out of the money.
A lot of nonsense mysteries
Surround its origins.
Some say it was sold for a few guineas
At a market during a drunken binge.
Others say it was sold at a selling race auction
For a case of vintage champagne.
Many believe it belongs to the estate of Galton and Simpson
Or that a fisherman in a Scottish pub gave it its name.
At 27 hands, it has an illogical advantage over the rest
And draws attention from artists at sixes and nines.
At 2/1, it’s got the bottle to beat the best
According to tic-tac hand signs.
The gamblers’ favourite
with its illegal bit
Of business on the side
as it takes the state for a ride.
Unlike better betters, those who put money on
this dodgy gelding of a filly
won’t declare it if they’ve won.
The stakes are too high, and that would be silly.
It won’t cross the Melling Road but run it side to side
until it goes over the top again.
It will fall at some corner of Aintree’s field.
It’s just a question of when.
Hard to detect
as it moves up the field,
Despite being subject to steward enquiries
after many of its victories,
mud has never stuck
as it rides its well-connected luck.
Surrounded by mobsters and hoodlums
it travels in a bullet-proof horsebox.
Though always well turned-out and immaculately groomed,
don’t be fooled; it comes from the stable school of hard knocks.
Golden Era Legend
This is the one to beat
with a track record second to none
having won it three times and come second twice.
A true champion.
Always there or thereabouts, it’s now ‘gone the distance’
But 50-something- year-olds won’t forget
Its name or noseband as it rode its home turf.
Times when, fingers crossed, you told mum and dad your ‘official’ bet.
Born in the north, a spade’s a spade.
A saddle’s a saddle. Stirrups are stirrups.
Donkeys bray and horses neigh.
A giddy up’s a giddy up.
This horse goes straight, no messing around.
Any press speculation as to its track readiness is scoffed at.
As rumours of it being pulled out last minute abound,
Its trainer rails ‘chuffing rubbish ‘ and leaves it at that.
Tudor Lord Chancellor and Keeper of the Great Seal
The higher they jump the further they fall.
Thomas to his friends. Heretic to his enemies.
The favourite least likely to beat them all.
One stumble and its all powerful legs will bend at its knees.
Rock Star Mare
She’s a wild one and bolts against stable rules.
Shakes off blinkers and, hating reins, pulls.
Headstrong and flamboyant, she’ll take each jump with a free spirit.
An entertaining crowd-pleaser, she’s bound to be a media hit.
Doubts remain as to whether she can be kept on the straight and narrow.
Fears are she’ll be one of those loose horses impeding riders, out of control.
To spite his spouse, this temperamental yearling
was named after the trainer’s offspring
whose immature tantrums at the teatime table
sends him seeking solace to the stable.
However, the race rules state his 4-legged pride and joy
is far too young to run, unlike his 7-year-old boy
who he imagines running instead
while down his local, The Nag’s Head;
His imagination running away with itself (and knocking back another tot)
His son breaks his leg at The Water Jump and has to be shot!
Mutters under his breath ‘Shame he’s not a horse!’
His wife is filing for divorce.
Fab Four Hooves
It has a long maine and fringe that almost covers each eye.
Its colours are psychedelic with Julian’s infamous drawing of Lucy in the Sky
on its saddle side.
It’s not what it seems
and gallops faster than slow-motion dreams
and instead of blinkers wears sunglasses for the ride.
With Liverpudlians chomping at the bit,
Ladbroke’s have made this local lad a moptop favourite
to be the first circus foal
to be bred to jump higher
instead of through rings of fire
and reach its racing goal.
you can bet it’ll make it
as chimneys blow black ‘n’ white smoke from roofs.
With horseshoes every week
From 60s Carnaby Street,
it’s got John, Paul, George and Ringo engraved on its 4 hooves.
Safe Hot-Water Bottles Everywhere
Mum taught me something I’ll never forget:
When you fill a hot-water bottle with boiling kettle-boiled H2O,
hold the bottle over the sink in case it falls
‘cos if u scald yourself you’ll know.
To everyone in the world now,
Peace and Love. Hope it’s so close to home, you’re care free enough to freely care.
To those who are victims of war and who can’t take it for granted,
Safe hot-water bottles everywhere.
One of the Robots
You’re one of them.
You don’t give anything.
I try to keep in touch.
Bipolar stuff that leads to nothing
I push your buttons.
You don’t react.
You carry on as normal.
You have no heart. Fact.
What makes you tick?
How do you work?
I’ve got steam coming out my ears.
You’re relentless. You never shirk.
When I Grow Up
I want to be a vet.
I like animals.
My best friend’s dad is a vet.
I’ve seen calves being born in fields.
Hour-old kittens being warmed.
Parrots, dogs and rabbits.
All creatures great and small.
I like animals to bits.
I want to be a detective.
I like solving mysteries.
A good friend’s daughter is going to study forensics.
I like whodunnits and serial killer TV series.
Finding DNA that proves the proof.
Fighting defence lawyers to make it stick.
Not letting anyone slip through the net.
Understanding victim AND culprit.
When I grow up
I want to follow every pipe dream I ever dreamt.
Be taken to hospital to be newly born
and not waste time going to interviews where dreams went.
Have a super human brain.
A know-it-all lifting the cup.
Have what I need
when I grow up.
The misfits want to be fit misses
in demand with box office kisses.
On a night out when staying in isn’t in
when whatever isn’t original is a sin.
Bartenders juggle bottles to cheers
as eye-phones film on blurry sees.
While the third world war will be digitalised
banned home movies have become feature films disguised.
I’ve put my latest poems from summer 2021 to February 2022 in this collection with some new collages.
You can see it in the menu above together with my other collections.
Frogmarch myself to what I sort of know
can only end in tears for me.
If things are going too well, time to get low,
and laugh if things are going badly.
I’m in two minds as to whether
I’ve got a split personality or not
but it’s just trying to prove a point I’m clever
when it’d be easier to admit I know jack shit.
I must confess I don’t want to own up.
The day I tell myself the truth will be the day I lie.
I want to be a good person and the spirit is willing
but gods don’t talk straight and duck the big why.
Say 10 Hail Marys and 10 Our Fathers.
Keep the faith. Don’t think too much.
Listen to good music.
Try to not lose touch.
(or Why the ruling classes won’t ever let anyone else rule)
Got a pill for every hang up.
Got a hang up for every pill.
Being clever dicks with cannonballs,
their blow-up knights in bouncy castles
are delivered by Royal Mail in letter bomb parcels
to detonate on University Challenge
just as Ian Dury buzzes ‘What a Waste‘
thus undermining any chance
another class could ever take their place.
As you take after who you’ve become
and school teachers, in detention, chew gum
the headmaster sends it to someone who
is off the hook with nothing better to do.