Illustrated poems by John Di Girolamo



Buoying up what should only be anchored on a seabed,
launching horizon thoughts from a beachy head,
polishing off planks running red in gallons on bloody Mary galleons,
mutinying off bilious dream decks into wavy waters off Albion;
a pirate seagull takes a selfie from a cliff ledge.

Out-of-breath knee-rug centenarians in their Sunday best
blowing out as many candles as possible to show who’s the eldest,
sudden street-sleepers rolling out nicotine-rolled mattresses,
metal-detector treasure-hunting wanderers wondering where it’s at is;
a hypochondriac pigeon twigs it and drops down dead on its chest.

Shuddering scaredy-cats fidgety-pecking bread-crumbs,
cry-baby pram-pushing toddlers make-believing their mums
perfect perchers on rain-dropping bunting over wet pavement stones,
nesty fledgling prodigies playground-beaking on xylophones;
an Olympic swift breaks the all-time record at 32 metres per second.

Up-in-the-branches and away-with-the-fairies for whatever it takes.
a modest million-strong division of camouflaged ambushers awakes,
budget-totting scrimpers’n’savers blowing it all in one fell swoop,
flashy film producing flashers put away for a long time in a chicken coop;
a skylarking starling in mirror-sunglasses sweepstakes.

Silent Monsters

I hold back more words a day
than I ever say.
Spout off more than my fair share
to people who don’t know me or care
just to entertain.

I go back home, open the door
and close it behind me once more.
Go to my park bench with its personalized plaque
in my sitting room and sit back
and watch the day’s passersby once again.

The moon outside is a little empty head
glowing in the dark as I go to bed
with the whole world wide web as a speech-bubble
with 7 billion mouths presumably in a bit of trouble
to get what they think heard
or get voices they hear not written off as absurd.


And the people clapped.
And the people applauded.
And the people cheered.
And the people lauded.

And the people kissed.
And the people flocked.
And the people laughed.
And the people rocked.

And the people cried.
And the people called.
And the people chanted.
And the people bawled.

And the people mourned.
And the people stopped.
And the people thought.
And the people dropped.

Song ‘Star’ by Chicco Fresu (guitar) and me (vocals/drums)

The Juggler’s Arms

In The Juggler’s Arms
the circus family catch up with their latest acts.
The tight-rope walkers walk a thin line
with their boyfriend/girlfriend acrobats.

A Sunday roast
on a seaside coast
the big-top landlord likes to trumpet and boast
‘bout his horn-blowing seal.

In The Juggler’s Arms
tipsy knife-throwers stain their costumes with their thrills’n’spills
as Houdini descendants, disappearing weekly
get out of paying their bills.

Lovey-dovey fun
In the pub garden sun
unicyclists peddling out You’re the only one
to their wheel.

Song ‘The Juggler’s Arms by me. Guitar played by Chicco Fresu/ bongos and tambourine played by me

Just ‘cos

Just ‘cos you’re to blame doesn’t mean you’re guilty.
Just ‘cos it’s not your fault doesn’t mean you’re innocent.
Just ‘cos you’ve got money doesn’t mean you’re worth a penny.
Just ‘cos they said it well doesn’t mean they said what they meant.

Just ‘cos you’ve got time doesn’t mean it won’t run out.
Just ‘cos the fun’s over doesn’t mean you can’t have a laugh.
Just ‘cos you’ve got a ticket doesn’t mean you’re a ticket tout.
Just ‘cos you’ve had a life doesn’t mean you’ll have an epitaph.

Just ‘cos you’re a pirate D.J. on a sea-breeze
table-turning your flat-world vinyl sea-shanties
doesn’t mean a whale of a man will get any more noticed than a minnow of a bloke
through a back-to-front telescope.

Just ‘cos you beg doesn’t mean you walk the streets.
Just ‘cos you’ve got a good grip on things doesn’t mean you could hold a trapeze.
Just ‘cos you’re on a bus doesn’t mean you have the right to a seat.
Just ‘cos life is routine doesn’t mean you do it with ease.

In case you’re wondering, the chorus to this kiddies’ sing-song
Is sink or swim, trick or treat, ding or dong, so sing along!;
“Keep your head above water.
Keep your head down.
Get it right
or you’ll drown.”

Song ‘Just cos (it’s a Devon song)’ by Chicco Fresu (guitar) and me (vocals/drums)


The city wakes up
As cleaners brush their teeth with mops.
Yawning tea-spoon people stir a coffee cup.
As big hands and little hands turn off alarm clocks.

Hairdresser’s open for clients to wait…
Their turn to grow their hair.
Buses on time arrive late
As bus conductors pay their passengers’ fare.

Fashion designers doodle on sheepskin fleece
As copywriters’ kids trace adverts at school.
Everyone tries to keep the peace.
Everything’s cool.

Song ‘Psychedelicacity’ by Chicco Fresu (guitar) and me (vocals/drums)
In background I’m reading poem ‘Alliteration’n’National Anthemology’

How Very Soon

As the kitchen staff go on the warpath
With the head chef leading the culinary charge
On the waiters and waitresses, under-staffed,
Drawing their cutlery for a tomato blood-bath

The summer season’s over again.

All the deck chair’s now have been folded up
And the little old ladies with their lovely cup
Have had their biscuit and their seaside nap
Back home now for the wireless cat on their lap.

The summer season’s over again.

How very soon the bride and groom
Pick out the moon.
And how very soon astrologers
Burst their balloon.

As the Empire’s bathrooms across the land
Turn on their taps and wash off the sand
With the first day back close at hand
Uniforms ironed and bedtime stations manned.

The summer season’s over again.

How very soon
Buckets ‘n’ spades
become pencils ‘n’ pens
And how very soon
The summer season’s over again

How very soon
Holiday dads become marketing men
And how very soon
The summer season’s over again.

How very soon
Ice-cream lolly sticks become the cane
And how very soon
The summer season’s over again.

How very soon
The summer season’s over again.
How very soon
The summer season’s over again.

Song ‘How Very Soon’ by me. With group ‘Wildsmith.’ Johnny Morris on drums, me on vocals (usually the other way round!). Chris Kennedy special guest appearance on kazoo instrument. Roberto Paderi on bass.