a forest, which grew

Assorted Poems, Some poems

a trail of parsnips along the floor
was all it took to lure
the sons out of their caravan door

where mumford was, i wasn’t sure

bundling the sons out of my van,
i planted them in tubs of manure,
watered them daily,
played them the banjo
and ukulele,
and watched them grow
in the golden glow
of a late summer afternoon

gazed upon the long limbs
lazing up to an incipient moon,
the entangled bramble of beards immune
to the unforgiving snip
of the shears that prune

mighty sons of mumford,
fifty feet high,
stretching up into the pale night sky

Life: A Record

Assorted Poems, Some poems

Polyvinyl chloride disc
with modulated spiral groove,
you’re up to scratch,
you’re prone to snap,
your pop’s crackle makes me move.

You turn the tables,
you’re fragile, an uncalculated risk.
I love you thirty-three and a third more times
than any compact disc
(and forty-five times more
than a download
from an online store).

Digital is clinical,
cuts the air like a surgeon’s knife,
but vinyl has the touch, the feel,
and surface noise of life.

Every Song on the Radio Reminds Me of You

Assorted Poems, Some poems

Every song on the radio reminds me of you,

I hear Anarchy in the UK and think about the time
you established an anarcho-syndicalist commune and led
a bloody, but ultimately unsuccessful, uprising in Merthyr Tydfil.

Bohemian Rhapsody comes on and I remember
the episodic, integrated, free-flowing work you composed
whilst holidaying in the Czech Republic.

Like A Virgin reminds me of the day
you got your new Virgin Media TiVo box installed
and you touched it for the very first time.

I listen to I Am the Walrus and recall those stupid
bloody Tuesdays when you would sit on a cornflake
in your corporation t-shirt and wait for the van to come.

An Oasis song plays and I think about that wall
you used to have, which was not like any other wall,
the one that used to fill me with wonder and still does today.

Other memories fly to me across the radio waves.
Your strange and wide-ranging CV: a waitress in a cocktail bar,
private dancer, boxer, taxman, joker, thief, lineman for the county.

There was that time you laid your hat and declared it “home”,
and that party we went to with a special atmosphere,
the one when you kissed a girl and then let the dogs out.

It’s no wonder I still think about you;
you and your beautiful, bright, sexy, gypsy,
Betty Davis, brown, green, baby blue eyes.

Paul Young

Assorted Poems, Some poems

it was quite by accident
that i discovered Paul Young
in the garden that morning,
living under a hat.

he appeared to have
made himself quite at home
there although he admitted to
periods of abject loneliness.

i would visit him daily,
feeding him turnips,
the ends of which he
would store in his turn-ups.

upon arriving, he would beg
me to stay for good this time
but, having other things
to attend to, i never did.

however i did enjoy the feeling
of him next to me and so
every time i went away,
i would take a piece of him with me.

then one day, to my dismay,
i lifted up his hat, and found
there was no more of him left,
not even an ankle or an earlobe.

in a rage, i tore his playhouse down
before going inside to stroke
my cyndi lauper.

Love Amongst The Dominoes

Assorted Poems, Some poems

When Janice walked out
Of his dreams
And into the saloon bar
Of The Sparrow and Sickle
That domino-fuelled Thursday night,
Bob knew it was love at first sight
For he felt his blood thicken,
His pulse quicken,
Damn near choked on his chicken
In a basket.

Bob was a shadow
Of his formless self,
No longer the doyen
Of the domino domain
(For that was now Ken).

Tiles clacked
With a fatal distraction.

As Bob watched Janice
Sidle over to the juke-box
He imagined her
Supplicant and supine,
Not, as she was, putting on
Walking on Sunshine.

Bob was held in thrall
No more and he returned
To the game.
For Bob there were some things
That love could not withstand.
Katrina and the Waves being one
(Another, the bloody
Goombay Dance Band).


Compilation Cassette

Assorted Poems, Some poems

It was about three weeks after we met
That I began work on that compilation cassette.
Each track the result of a deliberation worthy
Of the Congregation of the Causes of the Saints,
Subject to a process of veneration and beatification
Before acceptance into the cassette tape canon.
It’s a miracle it got made at all.

I can’t remember now which songs made the cut.
There would have been no Country & Western,
(There was never any Country & Western)
But they would have shown me to be
Discerning yet eclectic, both acoustic and electric,
Vaguely exotic, mildly erotic, quintessentially quixotic
And other things I was not.

I don’t know whether you ever played my cassette.
By the time I had posted it through your letter-box,
You had already started going out with Colin Hancox.
He was good at rugby.