In Which the Poet Throws a Party to Celebrate his Birthday only to Discover that Nobody Bothers to Show Up

Wearing my most daring
tank top, I arrived downstairs
fashionably late,
just before quarter to eight;

the invitations I’d sent out
ten days before
had clearly stated it started
at seven thirty-four.

I put on Russians by Sting.
It wasn’t long
until things
were in full swing.

As so often, on such occasions,
I made for the kitchen,
hanging out
with the Pringles,

who were delightful,
and twenty rather nonchalant
mushroom vol-au-vents.
Six skittish tins of Fosters

enticed me back
into the sitting room
to join in with the party games:
Hold the Parcel (forty-two minutes),

followed by a few rounds
of Musical Statues
(defeated each time
by a po-faced Victorian floor lamp),

and finally,
a game of Sardine,
in which I hid
inside the airing cupboard,

curling up
for three days
on an inexpertly-folded fitted sheet
until I found myself.

New Year’s Eve, 2014

“Typical,” thought Penny
as she watched Gavin party like it was 1999.

He was wearing a Pokemon t-shirt
and bouncing up and down to a Britney Spears song.
At least he no longer seemed to be worrying
about the millennium bug.

“Always fifteen years behind everyone else”, she sighed,
relieved that he’d left his micro-scooter outside.

The Christmas Gathering

Since Vince disappeared,
her friends all feared
how Hope might cope
but she did not mope
for long.

No longer listless by Christmas,
she practised her proclivity for festivity
and held a bash with the cash
she got from the insurance.

Thanks to her labours for the neighbours,
the do was a coup,
the mulled wine divine,
and the deep-filled Vince pies
were a total surprise.