A Poem, Strong and Stable

How blessed am I
to live beneath a strong and stable sky
and the warmth it enables me
from a sun that shines down,
strongly and stably.

Me, with these strong and stable legs,
that take me past the queues
of people – long unable to be fed –
waiting to give thanks
outside the strong and stable food banks,

and beyond where the library once was,
now strongly converted
to stable a private medical centre,
that makes the sick (but financially abler)
stronger and stabler.

And further on, the school
strongly lacking in staple equipment –
whiteboards, books, teachers –
all signs of a strong and stable commitment
to the dismantling of lives.

I thank the government
for such strong and stable times
then wander to the park, alone,
pausing to watch a cricket match.
I bend to sit upon the bench,

and fall through its rotted slats.

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.

Why the chicken crossed the road

I saw the chicken cross the road,
deep set in contemplation.
So I put my cap on and followed
to end all the speculation.

He ducked down an alleyway,
then suddenly stopped dead
below a sign that gently swayed,
upon which said The Gag’s Head.

On the door, he went knock-knock
Who’s there?” “Me. Chicken
He was quickly ushered in
and the plot began to thicken.

I peered in through the window
to get a better look at the place;
the first thing that caught my eye
was a horse with a long face.

The horse was looking at something
black and white and red all over,
while stroking a dog without a nose
who emitted a terrible odour.

Next to them was a big chimney,
smoking in front of his son,
and Pikachu who had missed the bus
because nobody poked him on.

An Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman
were all standing there in a group,
talking to an elephant in a fridge
and a fly doing breaststroke in soup.

The chicken ordered himself a beer
and began a night of boozing
to escape from a joke of a life
made not of his own choosing.

I looked on sadly for a little more
before deciding I’d better split;
the first rule of joke format club
is nobody talks about it.


i remember the moment
when my collies
began to wobble
as if it were yesterday
which it was
give or take a year
or two

it came as quite a shock
until that point
they had always seemed
of steadfast
and sturdy stock
hardly worthy
of a tremor
or a tremble
but solid
solid as a rock

i presented them
to the doc
parting his paperwork
to let them rest
and shivering
atop his pock-marked desk
he gave me
the heebie-jeebies
in a jamjar saying
take two before breakfast
with a glass of wine
closely pursued
by two more
during newsnight
but not the bit when
the next day’s papers
get perused

now they’re as good as new

Stay Off The Crack

Stay off the crack.
If you’re handed some,
Just give it back.

For crack
Is a thing that your life
Really should lack.

Do not have it
For dinner or as a
Mid-morning snack.

Or as a way
To distract from
The state of Iraq.

Even a crack
In a pavement is bad.
Please find a new track.

So stay off the crack.
Just like the llama,
The mongoose and yak

(But not the gnu,
Which is known to
Sniff glue).