The Blacksmith’s Tale

Forged thoughts burn
as a headful of nails.
My resentments are nobody’s business
To a mind of anvils.

War is no enemy to me.
I wage it on wagons and artillery.
Jack-of-all-metal-trades, as wheelwright and farrier,
I get extra as a horse-shoer.

One of the seven mechanical arts,
I form a chain with weavers, and agriculture,
Hunters, traders and cooks,
Masons, and architecture.

My body is a wrought iron skeleton
Of gates, railings and grilles.
It is struck into shape and welded as one
But bends to my maker’s will.

Johnny Phantasmagoria

His photographic memory
Snaps it up, on the blink.
Nothing rings a bell
As he pulls the other one, and thinks;

He’s a pop star in his head
And never down on song.
Anything he wears gets worn-out
Before it catches on.

Everyone he sees gets drawn in.
His first impressions last.
His revolving bookcase cluttered up
With pencil faces rubbed on brass.

So, while the other schoolchildren
Shout out he’s a prat
He zigzags off towards the bike sheds
With a weather-cock on his cap.

Weekly Wage Cat-Walkers

As they stitch each other up
and paint their eyebrows and gloss their lips
designer label lovers are as real
as the clothes they hang on their hips.

The show over, they dine
where restaurant cooks stir (with a fag in their mouth) behind kitchen doors.
As bedtime wardrobe window-dressers, they wake up the next day:
Just part-time boutique assistants, where make-believe breakfast champagne pours.

Roundheads and Cavaliers

I’m for Parliament. You’re for the King.
It’s more important you lose than I win.
Taking a stand, there’s no sitting on the fence.
I’m for Cromwell. You’re against.

Your men, for their cavalry commander, bark.
Cocking their legs at Pym, jumping at Charles.
Capturing Rupert’s black mongrel, we cut off its lugs
And make it a Roundhead; A pox on you Royalist dogs!

At Nottingham, you raised your standard.
The blackest year I’ve ever had.
While chaos in the countryside continues to grow
Landlords, levellers and clubmen come to blows.

If you’re not on my side, you’re on the other.
Dividing the loyalties of wife and mother.
You’d think we could find some common ground
But the world and our hearts are turned upside down.

At Edgehill, bitter rivalry finally got the better of us
With russets and browns, greens and buffs.
As all turned grey in the gunpowder smoke,
Field-signs set us apart on our coloured coats.

We fire our matchlocks, attack and retreat,
As pikemen form hedgehogs, and die on their feet.
Though they may number four score and ten
We bury more toes and fingers than we do men.

You take the piss out of our New Model Army
Coining it The New Noddle in taverns round the country ;
But with your Queen’s Pocket Pistol renamed as Sweet Lips
We taste revenge with every sip!

I’m so under the influence, I can’t see straight.
Marching a vicious circle that just won’t break.
I’ll be fucked if I give up on this uncivil war!
That tyrant and traitor will pay for it all!

Traffic News

In a snap-happy speed-camera cop paradise
‘Just Married’ motorists are caught with confetti and rice
as, pulling over to the side of the road,
The tug-of-war team coach breaks down and is towed.


Meanwhile, But I was just about to excuse-makers
become traffic-warden fined For fuck sakers
with Inland Revenue tax-dodgers on double yellow lines
and Monopoly military vehicles landing on land mines.


So, as extremely sensitive and vulnerable artists
write off their Rolls Royces in psychedelic fashion
Zebra-crossing senior citizens wave their fists
at the boy-racer no-respect generation.


Meantime, as taxi-drivers hit the disco streets
Hailers chuck it down, and up, in the back of their seats.
When, on an icy cold morning, the car won’t start
country folk take their horse and cart.

Writer’s Block

Readers revolutionary
Or orthodox
Pass sentence on yours
And you may be for the chop.

With poetic justice
Poetic licence backfires
As, rather than dry up,
You wax lyrical to your heart’s desire.

But little white lies
Can blacken your name
As charged with poetreason
They rumble your game.

While whatever you write
May be taken down in evidence against you
The public want their penny’s worth
And you might get it too.

Prohibition Times

Cracking bottles open is over
and them crashing down is on.
Days of letting the wine flow are here
but those of drinking it have gone.

There’s a lot of cleaning up going on in this Hoover era
as barrels spill their guts out on the floor.
The anti-saloon league forbid the knocking back of beer
but bootleggers are pouring in to spite spike the law.

Song ‘Prohibition Times’ by me and Chicco Fresu