Postcard Home (1996)

My ‘Castello’ Flatlet

I’m renting over the rooftops
With a swallow, momentarily, in the living room
Creepy-crawlies that hide’n’seek hop
And a lizard under the kitchen broom.

I was counting on getting forty winks
Instead of counting Sardinian sheep.
My eyes wide open, not a blink,
Crayoned in above my cotton-white, pillow-case cheeks.

Meanwhile, you make it in your summer dress
Up the backwards four-floor helter-skelter staircase.
The daft dotty bird below’s a pest
And with the landlady it’s the usual cat’n’mouse chase.

For me, there’s a clash of colours; red white’n’blue
Or green white’n’red.
Anyway, from the seagull woman’s daily point of view
Everything’s black’n’white ; get those squawky city tenants fed.


Once upon a time;
Fables told in our family album.
Sarah with her toy panda
My dad, me and mum.

Joyriding the funfair’s big wheel.
Dodgem cars, pillow fights and conkers.
The kaleidoscope I used to turn.
My bedroom bedevilled by monsters.

My memory plays truant
Becoming a lump of plasticine:
That photographic baby;that first uniformed pose
And us at Aunt Christine’s.

Recalling the sandcars, candyfloss and clowns
I can’t rewind my chocolate clock.
Wish I had a hundred lines to write;
I mustn’t daydream about being grown-up.

Hastings Pier

Loafing along the dormitory pier
In pyjama-patterned deck chairs,
The seasonal snoozers; one of whom, an old dear
Who catnaps, having had her cod’n’chips. A ten pence piece spare,

I enjoy a keyhole capers carry-on
Seeing “What the Butler Saw.”
A mischievous Peeping Tom
Peeking the naughty nymph’s Victorian smalls.

Looking further along, a stand-up fat lady
And her henpecked husband, both with cut-out face,
Make a cheeky seaside snap; swapping their own for a cartoon body,
A couple of tourists pop into picture postcard place.

When, inevitably, on the beach below,
A sudden cloudburst and downpour produce panic;
While the press-ganged kids reluctantly collect the lilo,
Mum and Dad, mobilised, salvage the remnants of a ruined picnic.


Why not give it a whirl?
Eye up everything inside?
Spy a spiralling world
Where objects collide?

Erotica abounds.
Bras, briefs and panties
Going round and round.

A mini-skirt appears
In a mini orbit.
Before it disappears
A nightie half-moons past it.

Bubblebath and bar of soap
Baby oil and lotion.
Fishnets on a long leg float.
Suspenders set in motion.

Why not peek peeper peeled?
It s a Deborarama.
Catherine in a Catherine-wheel
Round the old Joanna.

Glossy breasts outward pop
From a buttoned blouse.
Spinning with bikini top
Suntan cream and towel.

Reddened lips and lipstick hurtle
In cosmetic curve.
Rings and earrings make a circle.
A make-up bag makes up a swerve.

Better watch it! Do not blink!
You may miss Miss Perfect!
Mascara and that little wink
May just make it worth it!

Triangles turn into diamonds.
Hexagons turn into hearts.
Five fingers into fun
Turn it back to the start.

Why not give it a whirl?
Eye up everything inside?
Spy a Spiralling world
Where objects collide?

Cesare in the Piazza

Cesare street-bellows
Above the bells;
Red wine has reddened his tonsils.
His blackened lungs tarred by Camels.

He’s the local lunatic
Around whom stories circulate:
Of a life ruined all too quick.
Of a foreign legion escapade.

Were his dice destined bad
Playing fortunes dicey game?
Or did he risk all he had
With no-one but himself to blame?

Now he gobs, the gobshite fool,
Fumbling phlegm from his chin.
An underdog is nothing new
Nor the incrowd who outcast him.

Dickensian Kenneth

Dickensian Kenneth as is his ilk
In pyjama regalia picks up the milk.
Slippers quick-march hup hup one two
Back at the double to Breakfast HQ.

Where in her eggcup marmalade empire
Tea toasted soldier paraphernalia,
Victoriana’s rule of thumb clear;
He’s under hers “Yes love, no dear”.

‘X’ marks the spot on his Union Jack bot
Where the canvassing Conservative candidate stopped.
His face, like the rosette, turned Tory Blue
Securing a seat in the polls ‘92.

Dickensian Kenneth as is his bent
Eyes left parades outside the gents.
No medals for lateness; Victoria’s cross.
Despatches excuses; Careless Talk Costs!

Easter Sunday

Easter eggs are being eaten
And chocolate is dripping down the children’s chins.
Invited aunts are organising the seating
And thanks-bes are being regurgitated before digging in.

Football matches were all played yesterday
And shopkeepers don’t want to profit at Jesus’ expense.
Catholic priests have all had their say
And the congregation, cross-examined, have cross-checked it all makes sense.

And it’s been like this for donkey’s years
Since palms were at its hooves and his feet.
The new Mary Magdalens now being jeered
By kerbcrawlers kerbcrawling the street.

Postcard Home
What gets my goat;
A string of jealousies tangled in my throat.
Sant’ Efisio’s bells strike two
And what the hell are you up to?

Vagabond, bottle-necked in life, before me.
What’s it like Mr Nobody?
“It’s a life of shit!”
My landlady, at the sink, spits.

Whatever happens next
I wonder am I perplexed:
Belongings bundled together on a stick;
Should I be optimistic?

A quick appraisal anchored down in rhymes.
Another one with wavy lines.
I’m sorry. No more news.
Write back. What about you?

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