From Liqueur to Lace

Had worn her heart on a sleeve.
Had 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 draw-bridge had buckled under the messages she’d 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.


The parents hug their children
While their children cry

As on the ship out of port
‘Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye.’

Grow up to be a good girl
And look after the little man.

And as she says those words
She lets go her little hand.

At the thought of that, she thinks her thoughts.
Years later, she lets go a sigh.
As a ship comes into port.
‘Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye.’


After bottles, vases and jars
Off they go to get smashed in pubs, discos and bars.
“If you blow it, that’s it, you see”
Confided one glass-blower.

The factory carried on
but survival wouldn’t be long.
Redundancies got higher
as productivity got lower.

Laid off workers sank
to the bottom of their bosses’ aquarium tank.
They cut it so fine
their once diamond vessel turned into a shipwreck that had lost its shine.

1899 Visionary

Finally, what was there from its beginnings was clearer.
How the coldness had been hidden behind an hysterically hyped up veneer.
A scientist opportunist conning peers.
A philanthropist grave-digger snatching moneyed sneers.

I’m not going to judge lest I be judged.
I’m not going to hold a grudge lest they begrudge.
Nor march to the next century to just trudge.
Nor pose for a still frame where to budge
Might mean blurring a Victorian image into muddy Georgian sludge.

The Delicate Little Ones

The delicate little ones
Turn upside down
Inside their fragile little homes
Gravitating over the earth.

Trees, uprooted, lie.
Monochrome televisions flicker
As the delicate little ones
Put price tags on objects of no worth.

The delicate little ones
Pass on their viruses
And die little deaths
Before their defences can react.

Lollypop ladies stand.
Constellations fade
As the delicate little ones
See family heirlooms ransacked.

My End-of-Term Report

a little plug (number 15);

*first three lines of every verse are from my primary school reports.

John has worked well throughout the year
Although he tends to dream at times.
Often puzzled by new ideas,

His poems, occasionally, lack acceptable rhymes.

He is beginning to come out of his shell
And this is mirrored by his general improvement.
A most likeable boy, he should do well.

Enjoys a tipple, keen to experiment.

Somewhat hesitant when expressing himself orally
He isn’t, by nature, very forward.
His letters well-formed, his written work’s neat and tidy

But when getting round to e-mails, he’s easily bored.

A slight thickness in speech (i.e. a lisp),
He’s a co-operative and pleasant member of the class.
He has a natural flair for language and shows great promise

Though, after twenty five years in Italy, he could roll his ‘R’s.