Blog twenty two: A poem – #BirthdayBlues

So yesterday, Sunday – 16th September, was my birthday. So I wrote a poem about getting another year older – this is a true story, honest!

#Birthday blues

On this day in the 1960’s
I was born.
On this day last year
for a wind up,
my wife presented me
with Anti-Aging Cream for Men
Ironic? Mocking?
Perhaps useful?

‘Thought you could do with this,
become Peter Pan’,
she sarcastically said,
suppressing a snigger,
which was given away by the hilarity
in her laughter lines,
which heightened the brilliance
of her those dazzling blues eyes,
that I am a sucker for and
that forever and always dupe me
and discover different ways
to get the better of me.

I forced ‘thank you my darling’
through my clamped shut mouth
and firmly clenched teeth (still my own),
and decided to let her off the hook.
But hey,
I thought,
I’ll have a tinker.
And I used the cream.
Every morning after my shave
and steaming shower (and the other of the s’s).
And even some evenings
before Horlicks, bonk, book and bed.
And I don’t mind admitting
that it felt good,
I felt better!

Today I woke up
I did my standard, daily three s’s
and I used the cream again,
and I looked in the mirror
and I did the math.
I worked it out, the bloody stuff hasn’t worked.
I am now 52.
I have emailed and tweeted
the maker with a complaint.

     “This ointment, this lotion
     of irony, has me in a dated dither.
     It is devoid of mockery
     or even of use, I feel like Smee
    crying real crocodile tears.
    Yours sincerely
    sad and somewhat older
    from Sussex.

Blog twenty one: A poem – Small ads #1. Hole for hire

A bit pointless? Perhaps. Daft? Yes. The first in a very occasional and even more at random series of ‘small ads’….

Small ads #1. Hole for hire

As used by the Highways Agency,

versatile and reusable,

easily fitted and emptied.

Can be left unattended.


Perfect for storing valuables

or loved ones (of any shape or size),

ideal for family gatherings & parties

and it will fit well under most makes

of popular patio paving.


Available in a wide

choice of colours,

with refills.

Highly recommended for

burying treasure.


Can deliver.

Blog nineteen: A poem – Hunger

A little bit of a rant this morning, a little pop about the state of the world. A world where too many people don’t get enough to eat. And….. well read the poem and you will get the gist of my thoughts and where I am coming from.

There is also a bit of a nod here to Patti Smith and Crass.



I will try not to use the F-Word,

Listen up Christian Aid!
Here’s an idea, just a suggestion.
Let’s wipe out world hunger
with some divine, dinning intervention.

What about that Bethsaida take away yarn?

Check out your Messiah back story,
see how easy 5000 were fed.
The holy Gospel cook book says
‘take some fish and a little bread’.

Scribble a simple shopping list
and nip down to your local JesusSava –

Prepare a few value loaves, medium sliced
and if the collection plate can afford,
some tins of Tuna chunks (in brine).
Mix with a prayer and a stir from your lord.

Job done!

Crack open the home brand spring water.
Blend with a nod to the font and some beatification.
What a treat, the faithful can raise a glass to
pious intoxication.

Hey presto –

The hungry can join you in a toast, with finest
House (of God) wine.
Just make sure they are thankful,
saying grace while they wait in line.

‘For what many don’t receive……’

The almighty’s vision
has got almightily contorted.
Created in his image? Then why
is the picture so distorted?

I see –

Poverty vs. Wealth
Hunger vs. Obesity

Who is the sinner?

God? Humanity? Voracity?

Surely with your god behind you
cooking up some heavenly charity
it’s easy to feed more then 5000,
behold the miracle of global parity!

The hungry die for greed’s sins, not mine!
Compassion dies for corporate sins, not mine!
Millions die for God’s sins, not mine!

Blog fifteen: A poem -Hearts of glass (for Joanna, poem#18) 

Today I have been married to Jo for 15 whole years! WOW….

It is our Glass wedding anniversary, so blog 15 is in honour of the occasion!


Hearts of glass (for Joanna, poem#18) 

Our love feels

like a crystal clear

collision of hearts

and minds.


Fine crafted

and delicate.



we greet each

new day like a

sparkle of sun light

glinting on glass.


Hearts entwined.

Vessels, of fine cut

glass, that

hold our partnership,

our communion.


And the high light

of the view on this

special morning

is seeing the realisation


that our love is like

unbreakable glass.

Bulletproof. Shatterproof.


But still ornate.

Blog fourteen: A poem – Things that​ are early and late

I do enjoy writing exercises – I am a big fan of FIVE WORDS tasks (write a poem to include five particular words) and have written a fair few.

However this task was simple – write a poem with the title –

Things that are early and late


This is a quick love story,

done in a flash.

Of fledgling young love.

The tale of eager Johnny (come lately)

and his enduring first love December.


Now Johnny was always timely,

an early riser.

So quick off the mark,

constantly first in line and

he liked an early bath,


December was never on time,

liked a late lunch.

Slow off the blocks,

she would be last through the door

and late to the party.


She described Johnny as primitive

He thought her post-modern.

He acted immature, and

she seemed wise beyond years.

He would pay in advance, but

December would always be fined.


Their first date was at nine.

She arrived at half past.

He had taken a short cut, while

she went the long way round.


He bought her spring bloomers, yet

she preferred autumnal Dahlias.

Johnny went straight for the set course, whereas

she liked to study the whole menu.


He would always dive straight in

she would dip in a toe first.

He was a bit of a newcomer, however

December felt like an old hand.

His love was acute, while

she preferred it chronic.


He fell in love early doors, as

she took a little while longer.

He quickly gave her a key (to his),

she went twice round the block

before committing.


Their timing in passion

was normally mutual.

Always in time with each other.

But then Johnny came early,

too soon.

And December ended up late!

This time really overdue.

Blog thirteen: A poem – White riot

Bank holiday Monday, the sun ain’t shining. Around the country there will be fetes and fairs, festivals and carnivals. I got up this morning and listened to the Clash. I won’t write anything about the Clash – what is there to write that hasn’t already been said? ‘Nuff said…

Anyhow, I was inspired to finish a poem that I started about two months ago (well I had written 4 lines, the start of an idea) –


White riot

Sat at the back of the literature classroom

feeling that the problem is a lack of

creativity that clashes with being a bit thick.

Trying not to sound too crass, while

protesting with the pompous teacher of English

that poetry and reality, really isn’t that black and white.

Too scared to shout that academic power

shouldn’t be poached from the poor.

Stored and controlled in remote ivory towers.



in a flash, an idea arcs across the mind’s eye

from nowhere, like a Molotov cocktail

hurled by an anarchist’s angry arm, huddled and

hidden amongst a heated mob.


The spark of inspiration, ignites as the petrol filled bottle

hits the troubled streets of a riot torn imagination.

Exploding with a spray of glass slivers,

showering the surrounds with the shrapnel of a story.

Combustion is unstructured, slowly spontaneous

as the flaming rag of inventiveness is impregnated by gasoline.

The blaze bursts though the ordinary, fanning the flames of unrefined fancy,

chasing the refined chemical liquid, spreading

a viscous vision that can be traced across a street map

drawn from arteries and veins.


Thoughts spread like a bush fire, teasing and taunting.

Daring authority to try to take control.

Growing and rising, resulting in an ivory inferno

towering above Hades.

Internal combustion creates high levels of white-hot noise,

fuelled by adrenaline that leaves a chemical bitter-sweet after taste,

only experienced when syphoning gas from the tank

of your rich neighbours urban 4X4.


The insolent idea gains momentum

with the speed of a marauding crowd of roaring mutineers,

tearing up the back-street escapes of the

garage land city.

Tearing through the mind, leaving a calling card of

wilful, wanton, wanted vandalism, writing a scorched page to

blow free from the wreckage.


In the hushed aftermath of the two-minute anti-demonstration,

as the energy is contained and the furnace is harnessed.

Capital is gained from the burning. There is a calling,

a revolution may be written in belligerent black ink on

docile white paper.


Blog ten: A poem – Slabs

Graveyards love ’em or hate ’em loads of us end up in them! I won’t, it is the flames for me and then scattered on the rhubarb.

Anyway – they can be intriguing, interesting and full of history (and bones). I had a wander through the village yard at the weekend and dug these words up from somewhere.


The ground that they share

is common, not exclusive.

Passing by they no longer tread lightly.

Each journey completed here

followed a singular and different pathway,

all brought to this point by others.


At a brief distance

their appearance is varied.

From pristine & neat,

to ragamuffin.

See uncared for (once loved) standing with

falling over (sombre, not drunk), alongside

upright & proper.


All resting with broad eyes closed.

Looking up

toward sun, wistfully watching

star, gazing beyond satellites,

perhaps casting an ambitious glance

in search of a heaven?


Blog 9: A poem – Behind the public image

I love the Alice books! Both volumes are up there in my list of favourites, including Billy Liar, Kes, Saturday night and Sunday morning, Lord of the flies, Animal farm, 1984.  New favs include The First fifteen lives of Harry August, The Girl with all the gifts, The Devil’s detective.

Anyway, back to Alice – the best character for me has to be the Mad Hatter.

So here is a poem inspired by the master of the tea party!


Behind the public image

Funnily enough

the Mad Hatter collects hats. Has

a collection big enough to

crew an up-town, high-end millinery.

Yet he only ever wears one,

inherited, no, pocketed, stolen!

Hence the price tag, obviously

visible, still 10/6 and

in that style.


The laughter lines

around his crazy eyes map

the contours of many a merry mountain range

and grow bigger each day. He laughs

at everything, only notices smiling

faces. All he sees is laughter.

He watches laughter floating

through the air as it litters

his world. He is a natural born

comedian, all is a joke, life is

a riot. He has foreseen his own death,

dying from an acute bout of infectious laffing.


Did you know that his favourite word

is normal? Yet he has no real

comprehension of the definition.

He thinks that he knows

what the word would normally mean.

Sometimes he believes that he observes

normal behaviour. He giggles and thinks

is this normal? He often ponders

is this a normal day? Is everything normal,

normal like me?


He often goes in search of

normality, marching in merriment.

He chuckles and chortles as he

chases normal along the common of


He is only ever able

to offer vain resistance against the sniggers

and titters that loiter on street corners.

His efforts are always futile

as he is repeatedly slapped with the sticks

and the punchlines of mirth.

He is repetitively blinded by tears

of hilarity and he habitually gropes his way toward

the light heartedness of revelation, but in his darkness

he is unable to see or avoid the rabbit hole.

Blog eight: A Poem – Punk is dead (after Crass)

Crass had a big impact and influence on me, as they did for many folk of an age…

Actually, they continue to have an effect on many…

They have, to some extent, had an influence on this poem.



Punk is dead (after Crass)

Yes that’s right punk is dead,

it’s just another cheap product for the consumers’ head,


We are a long way from winters of discontent

and silver lined jubilee summers.

Rebellion has become a bargain-basement

status update.

Now direct action is unfriending someone

when they are a dick, and is there any real danger

of any real DIY online thought.

Anti-establishment is not wearing an OBEY

sweatshirt or a backward baseball cap.


We are in danger of our cloned youth

becoming patented, coming from a copyrighted helix,

making them all products. Some inferior, others high end.


Will they be consumed by those around them, appreciated.

Where will their consumer heads be at.

Will they be alive to ideology or numb

to dogma.

Will they consume alternative words, ideas or feelings.

Or will they simply make do

with a shit supply of crass one-line on-line posts.

Will they subscribe to punk economics,

as we enter a new age, the alternative spring.

Will they have any source or will they just demand.


Already they consume the internet, are consumers

of social and anti-social media, the cheapest of products.

Where they hope to fit in, find a virtual gang, a safe haven.

Find cheap people hiding in the shallows,

where they could be made to feel cheap, for some at a high cost.

Where they can be short changed and robbed

of any chance of ever enjoying any (sub)culture.


bubblegum rock on plastic transistors,

school boy sedition backed by big-time promoters.


Will they be capable of spitting out

the bad taste that should be left in their mouths,

by the platforms administered by the corporate star-spangled banner.

Or will they chew on and swallow the amplified

processed propaganda shit of likes and clicks.

And devour without question the sanitised fake news

sold by big money politico sponsors.

Do you think that plastic bangles will ever

clatter on grown up revolutionary keyboards,

or will Botox policies always be airbrushed on to their realities.


            Well I’m tired of staring through shit-stained glass

            tired of staring up a superstar’s arse,

            I’ve got an arse and crap and a name,

            I’m just waiting for my fifteen minutes fame.


Tablets stream reality, everything appears

gratifyingly instant within 4G reach.

The excrement view of a crap smart led future

has been Photoshopped to show white smiles and micro hips.

Time is spent sat watching celebrity sleaze, all nip and tuck,

and devoid of charm and cellulite.

Online searches look for opportunity, for wealth without effort,

the chance to appear on an abundance of auditions,

or even inviting big brother to watch you,

accepting intrusion as an invitation to show off,

while vying for online votes. Oh Well…


Imagine the liberation if punk was not dead.

                                                                                    PUNK IS DEAD.

                                                                                    PUNK IS DEAD.

                                                                                    PUNK IS DEAD.

                                                                                    PUNK IS DEAD.


Blog seven: A poem – Acts of time

A new poem –

Acts of time

I haven’t tried to reinvent any wheels.

But as the hands on the face

of the clock of life turn slowly,

I find myself adopting different guises.

Periodically creating a new version of me,

of myself.

Quickly changing like a chameleon on

speed, under flashing disco lights.


As the big hand on my watch speeds up

pointing to the advance of years,

my character changes every so often,

indicating that life

is there for taking.


And as the small hand on my travel clock

hustles, trying to pass me by,

I turn back time

by winding back my thoughts, seeing the echoes of

my many shredded skins –

child, schoolboy, teen, childish, adolescent, man,

lover, boyfriend, husband, father, son,

trouble, breaker, villain, drunk, sober, waster, wasted, stupid, unkind, selfish, critic,

criticised, parasite, taker, user, lazy, worker, maker, inspiration, hero, caring, provider,

kind, educated,

foe, friend,

punk, singer, hippy, raver, DJ, writer, poet,

crazy, alone, unamused, sad, sadder, happy, happier, amusing, together, at peace,

strange, normal,

younger, young, older, middle aged,



And right on cue

I am at ease

with the belief that

I don’t need to cling to the past,

past glories, past versions. No need to hang

on to past times, trying to not let go – like a desperate

Band-Aid fighting to stay on a child’s knee as she



I am in a time of peace with the timely and simple realisation

that whatever stage my life is on, it is fine

to act on impulse, to learn a new set of lines.

To use my big hands and my small hands to

take the costume of whatever personality fits the bill.

To be a star.