Month: October 2015

Please Use the Tongs Provided

Please use the tongs provided,
other means won’t be abided.
Your hands are not clean,
think about hygiene.
Please use the tongs provided.

Please use the tongs provided
but do wait first until decided.
Don’t be too hasty
and lunge for your pastry.
Please use the tongs provided.

Please use the tongs provided,
chemical processes collided
so you can employ
with iron-alloyed joy.
Please use the tongs provided.

Please use the tongs provided,
protestation is misguided.
Know your rights from wrongs,
I’m speaking in tongs.
Please use the tongs provided.

An Extra Hour

There is plenty
we can do
in an extra hour.

We could play
Strip Jenga; you can
topple my tower.

We could sprinkle
our bodies
with self-raising flour

(if it’s too claggy
it’ll wash off
in the shower)

or pretend
you’re a cover drive
and I’m David Gower.

But let’s first
give your fan oven
a much-needed scour.

Bus Shelter

We stand in stoic silence,
peering through perspex panels
for the bus with our number on it.

All shelters in time are visited
and we, waiting, occupy ourselves
with a thousand tiny distractions

until we see it nose slowly
around the corner, and greet it,
not with welcoming arms

but with wretched relief
and, as we feel the press of coins
in clammy palms, we wonder

whether this is a poem
about buses and bus shelters at all
or, rather, one about life and death

because that’s the kind of thing
that poets write about
and we climb aboard anyway

as it is warm inside
and this one has free wi-fi.

Duffle Coat

DUFFLE COAT

Your band
was a one song wonder.
Don’t know whether
you made another.

Got made
NME single of the week.
It put the bubble
in my squeak

and the snap
and crackle in my pop.
Twelve weeks solid
I did not stop

playing it.
The jingle-jangles
softened
the awkward angles

of what it’s like
to be fifteen.
I kept the sleeve
pristine,

wore a duffle coat
all that summer.
I hear you became
a plumber.

For we shall stare at mobile phones

Streets shrug as we roam back to our homes,
obstacle courses of lampposts and cones.
For we shall stare at mobile phones.

Landmarks languish and attractions close;
statues, cathedrals, Byzantine domes.
For we shall stare at mobile phones.

Reading gets shelved, poetry and prose,
with the dusty rebuke of neglected tomes.
For we shall stare at mobile phones.

Conversation falters, dries up, unflows,
feelings once said, lie buried, unknown.
For we shall stare at mobile phones.

Yes, we shall stare at mobile phones,
when we’re together and when we’re alone.
For we shall stare at mobile phones.

And when we die, let’s hope they’re thrown
into the pit with our crumbling bones.
So that we might stare at mobile phones.