Month: November 2015

No, You Cannot Borrow My Mobile Phone Charger

Help yourself to whatever you’d like from my larder:
my stilton, my sherry – or my port, if you’d rather –
but no, you cannot borrow my mobile phone charger.

If you want I will read you an ancient Norse saga,
or dance naked in public to Radio Gaga,
but no, you cannot borrow my mobile phone charger.

Make me learn all the speeches of President Carter,
force-feed me quinoa until I grow larger,
but no, you cannot borrow my mobile phone charger.

You can beg all you want but I’m not going to barter
because no, you cannot borrow my mobile phone charger.

Let’s Make Love

Let’s make love as soon as we’re able
when plates are cleared from the table,
the dishwasher stacked neatly
and the surfaces completely
wiped clean of crumbs and yolk.

We can leave the pans to soak.

Let’s make love fast and urgent
once I have gone and got detergent
because the backlog of laundry
is simply quite extraordinary;
we really should do it oftener.

I will also get some fabric softener.

Let our bodies start manoeuvring
when I’ve finished all the hoovering.
I know that it’s rather late
but the house is in a right state;
our schedule has got off kilter.

I think we need to change the filter.

Our love will be abandoned, exciting,
after I have done the recycling;
the lilac sacks securely tied
and placed in the street outside,
careful not to cause obstruction.

And so begins the sweet seduction.

Bonfire 451

I made a mighty bonfire
from remaindered copies
of The World According to Jeremy Clarkson

and saw the dance of sparks on
the stupid face emblazoned
upon a thousand covers turn to flame

spreading quickly across his name
and spine, until the pages caught
and raged in flickering fury.

Warming to the task, I threw the
complete back catalogue of Jeffrey Archer
onto the heap and the crowd grew larger

beneath the November night sky,
drawn in by the spectacle as
the paper crackled and smoke curled high.

Out of bags and rucksacks and pockets
came copies of The Da Vinci Code,
Twilight, Naomi Campbell’s Swan,

Paul McKenna’s I Can Make You Rich,
as the bonfire trembled and twitched
and turned fifty shades of orange.

Caught in the passing of a sudden breeze
were heard the shrieks of a hundred
ghostwritten footballers’ autobiographies.

I don’t know how long we stood there,
in silence, admiring our handiwork,
our funeral pyre of inanities,

a bonfire of insanities.

Why you should never run in corridors with scissors in your hand

Returning to his old school
many years later,
he vanquished
his childhood fears
of chastisement

by running
in the corridor
with scissors in his hand

and, so doing,
liberated himself
from the claustrophobic confines
of his cloistered conformity.

He did this
for approximately
twelve seconds
before the tiger got him.

Poem, revised draft

I had to write this poem again.
I left the first draft on the train
and now it doesn’t look the same.

The original was a paean to Love,
to Truth, to Beauty. It soared above
the everyday and all that stuff.

It would have healed estranged lovers’ rifts,
stilled the sands on which time shifts
and stopped the world before it drifts

further into quagmired crisis,
ended famine, toppled ISIS.
Employed ingenious literary devices.

I tried my hardest to recall
its words and rhymes, the rise and fall
of the carefully cadenced crawl

through the English language.
But it caused me pain and anguish
for there was little I could salvage.

It certainly didn’t end with a line like this.

How’s Wally?

Paranoia stalks me
through the streets,
the park, the fairground,
the crowded beach.

I try to make myself
hard to see
because I think someone
is after me.

In a stripy shirt,
bobble hat, glasses,
I hide amongst
the unwashed masses.

Why they want me
I do not know
but I keep on moving;
I must not slow.

So I wander lonely
as a cloud,
choose the company
of the crowd.

I pray that there
will never be
a Malthusian