A selection of poems from these two collections ‘Seasons and Seadaughters I and II’ – first from 2015 and the second from 2018.
One of the bizarrest unsolved mysteries
was the disappearance or theft of birds from one of the country’s biggest aviaries.
That morning, baffled staff couldn’t work out how, overnight,
hundreds of exotic specimens had simply vanished or taken flight.
The cages were empty but all of them closed.
No sign of disturbance, or feathers at all, as police constables nosed.
As hours turned to days, and days into weeks,
the press soon dubbed the case ‘The Silence of the Beaks.’
Now, years later, staff have long since moved on to new posts,
as the aviary stays eerily silent, perched on the hill, with its fly-by-night ghosts.
NO NONSENSE GOBBLEDEGOOK
If u can’t make it here
Let me know
I’ll make it there.
If hot air soap bubbles are being blown around
We’ll burst them and bring ’em back down to ground.
If people are acting stupid and don’t know their arse from their elbow
Let’s demonstrate and tell ‘em where to go.
FAMILY XMAS BREAK-OUT
There once was a family that lived behind bars
for crimes from the petty to some quite bizarre.
Over and over they’d tried to go straight
but crookedly walking was part of their gait.
It was back in the Victorian era it’s believed
when their great great great grandfather pioneeringly thieved
and left them a legacy to live up to thereafter
opening doors prison wardens locked after.
While crime never pays and paid it did not
they were always quite willing to give it a shot.
Every generation grew up with this ethos
‘Bugger them all, it’s them against us’.
In and out of jail they went
but as much money came in as time that was spent.
While some had a year of luxury leisure
others would have it at Her Majesty’s Pleasure.
But then came the day
when they were all put away.
The judge in his sentencing remarks did say;
“You, as a family,
must take collective responsibility
for being a menace to all in society,
All will go down and nobody spared.”
A verdict decent people openly shared.
So off they were sent to jails nationwide.
Men, women and children all shut up inside.
But as they crossed off the days to that first Xmas eve,
There were no festive stockings but something else up their sleeve.
If you were me, what would you be? Would you be recounting?
Lying on the carpet with my box of scrap-metal matchbox cars,
Counting blocks and abacus beads for counting
That never did me much good later on in bars.
Today, I thought to myself as I was happily driving along
How great life is and how thinking otherwise is, well, wrong.
The weather hadn’t made up its mind, a little sun, a little grey.
Just like when I’ve not been able to make up mine, with forecasts for the day.
So, back home and ranking favourite songs
while listening to the radio,
I’m scribbling down something as a mental note to not forget;
Try not to get wound up and try not to get low.
This is an out-of-the-blue diary entry (when keeping one does its bit).
If you’re not guilty of reading it, I shouldn’t be strung up for writing it.
Looking for a clue on what to do and where to go
they get out their canisters & paints
graffiti their church walls, get out their binoculars
and look to the stars, stalking saints.
Wearing your heart on a sleeve
In your octopus pullover
Like when you grieve
Because it’s over.
Like when you blurt it out and see it blow away.
When instantaneous taxidermy stuffs you for your museums.
Like when you wrap up on a Winter’s day.
When stalactite and stalagmite teeth get iced up in your gums.
Like when wearing your armour and slippers.
When plotting your fate at your toasty-crumb table
with more mights than mighty.
Like when you’re so keen to get there, you trip over your flippers.
Like when you’ll gaze out through your frosty flat-let window
in November 2090.
RETURNING MANY HAPPIES
Birthdays you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
Your own of course but yours too like this one.
You weave across your bouncy sugar-coated sponge-cake square
Trying not to knock against your wobbly candles or singe your hair.
Every year in maritime there’s one more
Washing up in a bottle on the seashore
Behind glass that if it cracks will dampen the wick to not light at all.
A fingers-crossed flame making a grand entrance through a swing door.
So your cards, in any case, get hoarded in any case
Like your matches piling up and left at the scene of your birthplace.
Thank-you letter-drafts filed chronologically under Past Wrappies
And this year’s SMSes returning many happies.
Sitting in my summer garden of an afternoon
and feeling safe in my middle class mother mountain father cocoon,
I daydreamed with the lawn mown
and all my neighbours a silver jubilee clone.
Long long later and of an after
And, once again, passed by for the Nobel prize for Literature
There I sat in a garden, daydreaming
listening to the coo of consciousness streaming.
When our paths crossed, I was in a juggernaut and you in a coach.
We inched passed each other, and gave way where we steering-wheel sat.
When we scared each other in the night, we were poachers on the poach
for hunters who might hurt animals in their natural habitat.
When we were in each other’s dog house, cats made us make it up.
When we were cats and dogs, there was always a bit of play-acting as kitten and pup.
When our planets ascended and descended
There was a starry drawing book full of dot-to-dot hearts that had to be mended.
THE TWIGLIGHT PROTESTS
Government policy forces pensioners onto the streets to march
Hardly able to make it across the road
with their gripes and groans in a shopping bag.
Vinyl records blaring out from old peoples’ homes
Hospital porters spinning around on their bums.
As, lurking behind, tape-measuring funeral directors lag.
THE TEARS WON’T WORK
Square up as teeny-weeny warriors;
Bawl, bawl, bawl
The tears won’t work.
Dumped, and left to rot on the sofa
By the biggest dumpster your love could muster;
Blubber, blubber, blubber
The tears won’t work.
So, you didn’t get promoted
Bursting with hurt pride and eyes bloated;
Snivel, snivel, snivel
The tears won’t work.
Whiling away a while in your drawing-pin head
Not cut out for scissor pain in your ward bed;
Wail, wail, wail
The tears won’t work.
SEASONS & SEADAUGHTERS
You look out to the horizon
and all the eyes and ears everywhere around you are gone.
The waves wave them off to soaked handkerchief clouds
and you say your goodbyes with crowds and crowds.
‘Old’ old and young are where you are now.
Their jellyfish tongues lap up onto the shore.
As your sandy toes shake off your sandy towel
there are a million trillion trillion million hundred thousand shells or maybe more.
Stories send little monsters to sleep
having brushed their fabled fangs.
A kiss goodnight to a full-moon lighthouse in its keep,
as bedtime ceiling stars hang
within earshot, above
the ones you love.