3. Seriously Hobbo!

Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA on Pexels.com
A synopsis
Putin, the arrogant prick,
Thought his war with Ukraine would be quick
Yet despite the ferocity
Of Russia's attrocities
Their global position looks sick.
Older
A little bit wiser
a little bit bolder
a little bit greyer
a little bit older.

Slightly less hair
slightly less huff
slightly more patience
slightly more puff.

A touch less panic
a touch less worry
a touch more thoughtful
a touch less hurry.

Another pill
a bit more weight
a bit more skill
a lot less hate.
Party people
Funerals in masks,
people dying alone,
yet the party's parties
they're prepared to condone.
Revenge in A minor
Mummy
is it my fault
that your boyfriend
killed himself?

Of course not
my darling,
why would you
even think that?

Because I told him
if he came near me again
with his thing,
I'd cut it off
and feed it to the cats.
Politics for dummies
The government is governed
by its governmental ministers,
who have a boss, the governor,
they like to call prime Minister.

The business of the government
is really to administer
but if it's not what governor meant,
it all gets rather sinister.

The government then governs
or, that's what they're meant to do
and governor governs government,
an ineffectual stew.
Equal Ops?
Equal selection procedures
Are often not quite what they seem;
When the game absolutely needs winning,
Sometimes we must pick our own team.
NHS, England
Individuals:
infertile
in pain
intense

NHS:
inadequate
intolerant
inane

Women:
innumerable
ignored
insulted

Policies:
inhuman
institutional
insidious
Politics of War
The western world,
though not weak,
has elected spineless leaders,
lacking in moral fibre.
Where now
our dames de fer
when we need them?

Better,
by far,
to bite the bullet,
go short of food,
run out of fuel,
be cold,
have our lives
disrupted
in support
of our Ukranian neighbours.

More palatable this,
than to give
one cent,
one penny,
one ruble
to finance
the duplicitous,
warmongering
murderous 
activities
of the criminals
in the Kremlin.
Knife Crime
inner city
violence
younger
and younger
victims

local
defibrillators
first aid
stab kits

metaphorically
and literally
papering
over the cracks
in their education
and
their bodies
Progress
Empty churches, unheard preachers,
Fewer nurses, no more teachers.
Burgled house, then you're in lumber,
No police just some crime number.

Need a doctor for some ointment,
Make do with a phone appointment.
As for all the many food banks,
They've replaced the high street's closed banks.

Want a train, the station's closing,
Weeds upon the track reposing.
Feeling lazy, don't like walking,
Let your scooter do the talking.

Child's the brains of next door's pussy,
Universities' not fussy.
What d'you mean, it's all a mess,
This, my dear, is called progress.
Where did it go?
I look at my life, as it gets near the end
And I suddenly wonder, where, my friend.
Where did it go?  Where did it go?

Always too slow, couldn't get there too soon,
I needed the earth and I wanted the moon.
Where did it go?  Where did it go?

One long progression, a race against time,
The ladder of life was there to be climbed.
Where did it go?  Where did it go?

Primary, big school, college, employment,
Marriage, then kids, not much time for enjoyment.
Where did it go?  Where did it go?

A distant objective, the time to retire,
A day-TV-diet, in front of the fire.
Where did it go?  Where did it go?

Not finished yet, it was where is my pension,
A few well earned treats was the simple intention.
Where did it go?  Where did it go?

Everything now, in the mirror's rear-view,
The end of a cul-de-sac, nothing brand new.
Where did it go?  Where did it go?

This journey of life is a short one-way street,
Pause, look around, this is your driving seat.
Before it's all gone.  Before it's all gone.
Shredded
lives shredded
cross-cut
micro-cut
annihilated

buildings destroyed
bombed
blasted
obliterated

cultures ruined
smashed
stolen 
desecrated

resistance organised
courageous
coordinated
determined

spirits unbroken
reborn
renewed
prevailing
Debt
A mortgage, the school fees,
the credit card loans,
those secondhand jet-skis,
our two mobile phones.

the shiny new car means
we're drowning in debt,
we can't afford beans
I have told you but yet

you constantly say
that you've got it all planned.
Well, have it your way,
but it's head, bucket, sand.
The funny side
We have to see the funny side,
Life's so unjust and never fair.
When all the tears we've shed have dried,
We have to see the funny side.
To view this game, a bit cockeyed,
Not wallow in the world's misère.
We have to see the funny side,
To have a laugh, let down our hair.
Dictators
He's usually a man
and always a tartar;
the same tired plan,
be remembered, a martyr.

A power-mad dictator,
ruling by fear
many imitators,
conscience-free, clear.

Absolute power
handed to him,
cometh his hour,
deals death on a whim.
Dear God
Dictators - how can they relax,
and why don't viruses pay tax,
why are some folk made more equal,
could Fawlty Towers have a sequel?

Why do tiny kids get cancer,
should I have been a better dancer,
why do women fight for rights,
does quinoa have to taste like shite?

How do boys become abusers,
are cola addicts, cocaine users,
why is war the only answer,
can elephants be great romancers?

Why have we discovered plastic,
a small tattoo - is that too drastic,
why do we destroy our planet,
how do you eat a pomegranate?

Why so many refugees,
can I have a payrise, please,
why do children need to die,
why've I got but one brown eye?

Why so many different nations,
what's the point of maths equations,
why not more trailblazing mums,
dogs - why sniff each other's bums?

Why is everything unfair,
does it look big, my derriere?
Please, I need some answers, God,
or am I just an awkward bod?
Choices
The luxury
of choice
requires attention
to our voice.
Should that new car 
be battery, electric
hybrid or eclectic.

Smallest, smaller, small,
do we need a car
at all.
Get a bus or take a train
or a taxi
now and then.

Yes, our towels are old
and faded
but the fact that they are jaded,
they still work
they dry our skin;
come on girl, it's win-win.

And as for
this strange passion
of keeping up to fashion
what a nonsense
that turned out to be.
We need to take 
some drastic 
action on our plastic
or listen friend;
we'll all end in the sea.

Playground bully
There's a bully in the playground
and he's picking on you, Cain.
We'd like to come and help, but
he might give us some pain.

He did it to our Mia,
threatening with his stick.
We couldn't help her either
and now she's pretty sick.

Smacking's not an option,
caning's not allowed;
we'll confiscate his sweeties
and bar him from our crowd.

We're sorry it's so little,
we dare not see him vexed
or when he's done woth you, Cain,
we're going  to be next.

As you stand up to this bully,
you fill our hearts with pride,
behind the wall, we're cheering you
- you know, we're on your side.
Teaching truth
Children,
we are in danger
of being invaded
by the nasty West.

Spare a thought
for our brave Russian soldiers
who are having to defend themselves
in a special military operation
(not an invasion)
in Ukraine
armed only with
tanks, fighter planes and missiles
against a ruthless army
of middle-aged men and women
determined to corrupt us
with their nasty democracy.

Children, this is not a lie;
this is a Russian super-truth.
Let us thank
our great leader, President Putin
for our great leader, President Putin.
Little-man syndrome
Seven billion human beings
inhabit our beautiful planet;
each one of us
affected at some level
by the actions
of one
delusional,
egotistical,
demonic
little man.
A beautiful world
Aeons from now
magnificent architecture,
destroyed by war,
slowly crumbles
to giant anthills of dust.

Roads, once gridlocked with traffic,
lie abandoned and overgrown.
There is no plastic, none;
it perished, eventually.
The air is pure and clean
and the ozone layer
has healed itself.

The ice caps no longer melt
and are returning to their former glory.
Forest fires are extinguished;
sea levels have dropped significantly.
The climate is temperate
and eco systems have recovered.
There is zero pollution.

Wild animals roam freely
across our once-great cities,
their only care, survival.

And the human race;
their brief but catastrophic time
on our planet
is over.
They are extinct;
wiped out centuries ago
by a global pandemic
which made covid 
look like a teething rash.

No, do not weep, my friend,
it is a fitting end.
It is a better world now,
a beautiful world, once again.
Greed
How much equity lies in your equities,
How many shares do you share,
How much stock do you take of your stock,
Could anyone claim that you care?

Do you think of the mass as your masses amass,
Counting the money you're worth,
Clutching your pass into platinum-class;
What about poor planet earth?

The waiter pours more of the vintage champagne
As you raise a glass to the poor;
Does your need for greed supercede everything,
Are workers a class to ignore?

When you lie in your shroud and you head for the clouds,
Your money is not worth a jot.
That final hour isn't money or power,
You can't take it with you, you clot!
The parable of the toys
Once upon a time
a naughty little boy
stole a beautiful toy
from the nursery.
It didn't belong to him,
he just marched right in
with his toy soldiers
and he took it.

The other children were upset
but pretended not to be,
so that after a while
they kidded themselves
that they didn't like the toy
and they didn't want it anyway.

Years passed by
and when the naughty boy
realised that the other children
were not going to do anything,
except stamp their feet
and pretend they were a bit cross,
he stole another toy.
Then, when nobody still did anything,
he stole another and another
and he kept on stealing
until there were no more toys
left in the nursery
and all the children cried.

The naughty little boy-
well, he had all the toys in the nursery
but no one would play with him
because he was a bully,
so he cried too.
The tortured talent
True talent
is always singularly selfish;

It is an honest truth
that must be seen
through the painter's eyes.

A tortured soul
which demands a voice
from the poet's pen.

The raw emotion
wrung from
the depths of an actor.

A thirst for victory
against certain defeat
in the champions psyche.

It is all these things,
to the complete exclusion
of other's feelings,
that makes a true genius.

The skillful can show mercy;
the talented
are ruthless.

Kakistocracy
little men with massive egos
claiming that they're great amigos
shiny suits and slimy smiles
mask their wary, leery styles.

vintage wine not cheap sangria
lubricates their big ideas
truffled tart and lobster bisque;
is hardly diplomatic risk.

talks in private, camera-grins
little progress, no one wins
yet these lavish explorations
were well worth the preparation.

money really is no object
statesmanship their chosen subject;
to keep again this paradigm
they'll meet again in two weeks time.
War
When disagreements turn to war;
Result, invariably, a draw,
With bitter claim and counterclaim,
Thousands killed and yet more maimed.

Remind me of that final score
And what we all were fighting for.
As children cry and women grieve,
What did those unmarked graves achieve.

As years pass by, we soon forget
The reasons for this base roulette
But when the next cause comes, humane,
We stand and do it all again.
Travel
It is better to travel hopefully, than to arrive; Robert Louis Stevenson
I have been to the moon,
One step at a time;
The view from it though
Was not as sublime

As the journey itself;
That part was the fun,
Much better than sitting
All day in the sun.

So travel your life with
That hope in your heart,
Because when you arrive
It's the end, not the start.
Living with a monster
A monster lives inside my head,
He's dormant, but capricious
And, like a gangster playing dead,
When wide awake, he's vicious.

He lashes out at those he loves
With savage, brutal words;
Not sugar-coated, soft kid-gloves
But terms you don't need heard.

And when this monster's dished his dirt,
I need to take the blame;
Apologise to those he's hurt
And hang my head in shame.

To keep this beast within control
Is difficult to do,
And so my wife, God bless her soul,
Lives with a monster too.
Politicians
Patronising;
Obfuscating;
Lying;
Incompetent;
Talentless;
Irresponsible
Capricious;
Infuriating;
Avaricious;
Narcissistic;
Scoundrels.
Shoah
(inspired by the words of Helen Aronson, a Holocaust survivor)
If you weren't there,
try though you may,
you will never
really understand
what we went through.
No one can. 
No one should.

It doesn't matter.
You don't need to suffer
as we did.
It is enough
that you care;
that you treat
each other
as human beings.
Difference
If you hate me
because I am different;
you are a brute.

If you dislike me
because of the difference;
you are intolerant.

If you embrace
my difference;
we could become friends.

If you don't notice
I am different;
we are brother and sister
and the world has hope.
A place called home
high winds
scatter the dry leaves
like flocks
of spooked sheep
litter skitters
until trapped
in puddles
of final resting places
atop the highest branch
of a naked poplar
a solitary magpie
caws defiance
against the noise
I gaze out my window
at the hypnotic spinning
of wind turbines
on the fading horizon
and say a quiet thank you
for the security and warmth
of the place we call home
Her Majesty, the Queen
A lifetime of service,
Seventy years
Of intimate thoughts
And camouflaged tears.

An unmatched example
Of duty put first;
Fourteen Prime Ministers,
Who was the worst?

With no one to listen
Now that Philip has gone;
Unique your perspective
Alone on your throne.

Ma'am, we salute you
For all that you've done;
Rarely wrong-footed,
Endeavour has shone.

May it continue on,
This lifetime, God-blessed,
Your Majesty rocks,
You are simply, the best!
The perfect bean
The perfect bean, n'existe pas,
Politicians make stupid decisions,
Footballers kick it over the bar,
And surgeons erroneous incisions.

Motorists can drive too fast
And poets pen poems that are naff,
Financiers lose all our cash
And comics don't all make us laugh.

Kids can be cruel to each other,
People may just get it wrong,
The whole world does not love their mother,
Singers will sing a crap song.

Sometimes we say silly things,
Sometimes, we're way off the mark,
Sometimes, we're small human beans
Scrabbling around in the dark.

Too often, we beat ourselves up,
When things aren't 100% right
But that's simply life in a cup,
Even Dickens could sometimes write shite!
My friend, Jane
Hungerford lass, seventy-two,
Suffers colloquial to-do,
The issue for her was I.T.
What happened, you ask, goodness me!

Engrossed in her books, the hard drive
Of her Dell, tried to eat her, alive.
It settled for chewing her foot,
Which in plaster of Paris was put.

Her passion for theatre must wait
Now, the girl's in a sedentary state.
Before she kicks any more bytes,
We need to buy Jane some foot-lights.
Downing Street Parties
The report could be published;
We may get all the facts.
Those transgressors of rules
Now, could even get sacked.

The breakers of law
On both sides of the house;
Does that include you, 
Mr PM and your spouse?

When the fibbers all leave
It is evident that
The only one left
Will be Larry, the cat.
Publicity
Don't mention his name
on the six-o-clock News,
the ten-o-clock News,
the twenty-four-hour News,
repeatedly, continually.

I don't want to know.
He's no hero.
Murder doesn't make him a martyr.
Tell me what he has done,
how many victims he has killed;
their names, not his.

If you must talk
of him,
call him what he is,
bomber,
killer,
murderer,
a deranged, evil bastard.
Don't tell me his name;
I don't want to know.
Form-filling
What colour skin,
black or white.
Dominant hand,
left or right.
Sexual preference,
straight or gay.
Average income,
rather not say.
Religious leanings,
Christian/Rasta.
Food allergies,
nuts or pasta.
Social background,
poor/well off.
Education.
dunce or toff.
All these questions
drive me barmy,
I'm not trying 
to join the army.
The paperwork
accrues en masse,
and all to get
a new bus-pass.
The Collage
Monochrome memories
cocooned in the gloom
of yesterday's shoebox.
Undusted heirloom.

Scissors and sellotape
replace solitaire;
glueing and giggles of
a carer who cares.

Lives in a gilded frame
for friends to enjoy;
souls liberated.
Teardrops of joy.
Vax fact
Your reasons, excuses
To dodge the vaccine
Are so bloody selfish;
Take one for the team!
Whatever you think
About personal rights
Our world deserves more
Than a few blatherskites.

Blatherskite:  A person who talks at great length without making sense.
What do women do all day?
Hobbo, my man, you are looking dead beat.
I am, to be frank, mate, I'm run off my feet.
Mrs H. has been ill for a couple of weeks
So, I've picked up the housework. It's not for the weak.

I've vacuumed and dusted and mopped 'kitchen floor,
The washing, the ironing, there's always some more.
This morning, tried changing the sheets on the bed
And finished inside of the duvet instead.

My cooking's improving, though not Cordon Bleu,
Honestly, pal, it's a bit of a blur.
I don't wish to drag down the talk to obscene
But even the toilet has had a deep clean.

Hand on my heart and I say it with pride,
I've done all the jobs that she takes in her stride.
No wonder you're knackered, I'll stand you a drink!
Sorry, no, I must dash, there are pots in the sink.
Doris
She's ballsed it up, 
Her goose is cooked,
Last chance saloon, she's lost the plot.
She's past her best,
She's failed the test,
She'll pay the price, her bolt's been shot.

Her race is run,
She should be hung,
I've had enough, she's full of shit.
She'll pay the price,
Be sacrificed,
She's gone too far, the lying git.

The chips are down,
She's been found out,
The walking dead, she's last night's story.
They'll sling her out,
The lazy lout,
Or one last chance for Teflon Tory?
The helpful pharmacist
Lateral flow's
The way to go,
We're wanting you to use them
But pick up's gone,
It's harder son,
We can't have you abuse them!
It's my party 
(To It's my party by Lesley Gore)
It's my party and I'll go if I want to
Go if I want to
Go if I want to
You could come too, it will be a good do.

Nobody knows we are having our fun
But Carrie, pour me some wine
Hush now, we don't want a fuss
Mosey on over to mine.

It's my party and I'll go if I want to
Go if I want to
Go if I want to
You could come too, it will be a good do.

Play all my music and dance through the night
The rules are for fools, not for me
Till I catch covid again
I may as well live carefree.

It's my party and I'll go if I want to
Go if I want to
Go if I want to
You could come too, it will be a good do.

Press reporters have walked through the door
Let's pretend we're at work
They will believe anything
Kuenssberg, oh what a berk!

It's my party and I'll go if I want to
Go if I want to
Go if I want to
You could come too, it will be a good do.

Oh, It's my party and I'll go if I want to

Go if I want to
You could come too, it will be a good do.
It's a Djoke
In a futile attempt
To argue exempt
The tennis star ended in court.
With posturing absurd
The truth went unheard,
And efforts all crumbled to nought.
Contrasting Styles
Australia, when they're batting
Accumulate the runs.
England, on the other hand
Are only there for fun.
When it's our turn at the crease,
The runs stay fairly static,
It's the way our wickets tumble
That's really quite dramatic.
Daytime TV
Cremation ads, funeral ads,
Equity release,
Hands off our money;
Leave us in peace.

Reclining chairs and stairlifts,
You're messing with my head;
As far as admen are concerned
We are simply walking dead.
Rewards
If you want respect
you should expect
to show others
the same consideration.

Don't bang on
about your rights
unless you're prepared
to shoulder
your responsibilities.

When seeking
reward,
be prepared
for some hard work.

Love too,
has to be earned;
it is never unconditional,
unless you're a dog.
Bungalow Joe
They call him Bungalow Joe
Because he has nothing upstairs
But people around do not know
And often are caught unawares

By the guy who they classify zero
On account of his leisurely mind,
Who, nevertheless is a hero
Because he's both thoughtful and kind.
Excuse me?
My wife is aware
That I'm deaf as a tree
Yet still she insists
On talking to me

Through the back of a door
From a different room
When I'm trying to chat
to my colleagues on Zoom.

Or, sat on the loo
With my head in my hands
And I can't hear a thing
For the whirring of fans.

When the dog starts to bark
Cos it's time for a walk
And the phone's ringing out,
Then that's when she'll talk.

Or, we're sat in the car
With the road-traffic noise
And hearing-aids buzz
With the arguing boys

In the back, she will turn
Smile sweetly my way,
"You don't ever listen,
to a damn word I say!"
A new beginning
Have A Picture Perfect Year
Never Ever Worry
Your Every Aspiration Realised!
Come Home
Minor
in the scale of things,
major
it's potential
for unintended consequences.

One small slip
with her scalpel.
disastrous. 
Independence stolen.
Mobility lost.
brain damaged.
Disabled for life.

You know what;
yes it would be awful,
catastrophic even,
but we'd cope,
we'd get through.
I love you;
just come home.
Deafness
It is noise,
not silence;
the tuning fork
building slowly
to a crescendo
then dying away
gently as the fading echo
of a departed lover,
is a welcome,
occasional visitor.

It is the car engine
at the end of the street,
constantly
ticking over
in my head,
muffling sounds
so subtly,
I only hear it 
properly
in the long hours,
when nothing else stirs,
then I hear it,
loud in the absence of crowd,
in the darkness.
You don't hear it,
do you?
Are you deaf?
Surnames
This doubling of surnames
is becoming a trend
but if doubles wed doubles,
where will it all end.

Their kids would have four names
and grandkids have eight,
sixteen for great-grandkids,
a ridiculous state

of affairs, so one surname,
maybe two if desirous,
then enough is enough;
it's becoming a virus.
Archbishop
Desmond Tutu,
one of life's good guys,
dies, passes away
on Boxing Day.
A witty spokesman
for his Rainbow Nation,
he battled anything smacking
of discrimination;
standing up for Human Rights.
A man of faith
who fought the good fight 
against
all types of inequity,
this rare old,
peaceful man
of integrity.
Rest in piece, Arch,
as you jokingly
liked to call yourself.
The Doctor
The junior doctor
who crawled,
drunken but uninjured
from the upturned wreckage
of the car he had chosen
as a suicide weapon.

The fresh-faced cop,
shocked by his luck
but outraged
at his recklessness
who breathalysed
and arrested him.

The sagacious magistrate
who listened impartially
to the evidence
before handing out
the punishment
required by the law.

The troubled poet,
a retired cop
who lies awake, now
understanding his pain,
hoping, too late,
he got the help he needed.
The Big Sleep
You can't buy your way out.
Fame doesn't help.
Luck can not escape it.
You can not reason with it.

Religion won't save you
and kindness is treated
with the same disregard
as wickedness.

When it's your turn,
all you can do
is surrender yourself
to its secret.
Induction Hobs
An induction and
pacemaker mix
is a problem
but easy to fix.
In order to sort
this impasse,
from now on, we're
cooking on gas.
Happy Christmas
I'm not interested
in your Faith
or lack of it.
I don't care
if you are religious
or not.
The colour of 
your skin
means nothing.
Your sexual
orientation
is unimportant.
Your value system
is your own
private concern
Your very
identity
is immaterial
but
on this
the most special
of all special days
I wish
you
whoever you are,
the joy
of being loved
by loved ones
and the special gift
of bringing happiness
to others.
May you be blessed
with a healthy heart
an open mind
and a peaceful soul.
Happy Christmas.
Hobbo and Dauphy

Sticks and stones
(inspired by Ian Humphreys' Break my Bones)
When they looked
in his pram
and called him a paki
he didn't understand.

When the boys
at school
said he was a wog
he ignored them.

When he started work
and they taunted him, nigger,
it stung, hung in
the air like a cancer.

At home, he threw the
poetry book he was writing
into the bin with yesterday's leftovers,
picked up his laptop
and typed the word detonator.
Live it big
Drink every last drop,
sing it loud on the kop,
go shop till you drop,
have the cream of the crop.

Go right to the top,
become top of the shop,
don't care if it flops,
be the pick of the pops.

Be-bop till you plop,
live it big at the hop
but don't ever swap
and never let it stop.
Democracy
To air
my
democratic voice,
when I
vote
I'd like a choice.

To choose
from
good,
better, best
not pick
between
bad,
worse, worst.
Table Manners
Wait for Grace!
Elbows off the table.
Don't talk with your mouth full.
Shut it while you're chewing.
Don't make that noise.
Don't eat with your fingers.
That's the wrong fork, 
you dork.

Say please.
Jeez.
All these rules.
It's worse than school.
Don't slurp.
Don't burp.
Don't fart.
Don't start;
your rules are petty,
wacky, tacky;
me and Grace
are off to Maccy's.
Blame
A bombing in Manchester,
a six year old
starved to death,
a woman raped
and killed by a cop.
We demand enquiries.
We need answers.
We want someone to blame.

Mistakes are made
by authorities,
by services,
by individuals,
they always are.
We are only human.

But we must learn
and move on.
Let the blame,
the real blame,
stay
where it belongs;
with the killers.
Dad smells
Dad smells
of curry,
tobacco
and beer.

Mum's smell
of worry
and make-do
is fear.
Epilepsy
A stomach-churning
dreamlike spate
of smells-like-burning
frightening states.

Joan of Arc,
Gershwin, Caesar
had this spark
of brain mal-teaser.

Dubbed a madness,
Edward Lear
hid his sadness 
from those dear.

Let's get our head
round this enigma
and kill stone dead
its social stigma.
A global community
Thousands will breathe 
their last sigh,
thousands more 
their inaugural cry,
and billions 
slumber in peace
as billions more 
spread some grease
on their first slice 
of morning toast
and from the remotest outpost
whatever we do,
the world does it too.
Survival Instinct
No matter
how much
you think that
life sucks,
you can't hold
your breath
and choke to
your death.

It's not a
walkover;
survival
takes over.
Nobody
has died
like that, though
I've tried.
Still here

Covid, covid everywhere
and still we have no clue,
a tiny virus in the air,
we don't know what to do.

Is it heard immunity
or lock-down and vaccine
will heal the world's community
and make our planet clean.

As I am no scientist,
I'll follow to the letter
advice, but get well pissed
at people who know better.
Passing places
Our whole lives
are spent
revisiting
people
and places
we have already 
seen
but didn't
appreciate
when we
were younger
versions of ourselves.
Girl
Little girl green
come play with your trumpet;
your brother is mean
and your dad's chasing crumpet.

But where is your mum
to look after you kids,
she's found a new chum
and your life's on the skids.
The trial
Prosecution claimed black,
defence argued white;
prosecution said day,
defence, it was night.

Prosecution said cheap,
defence said designer;
prosecution serious,
defence, only minor.

Prosecution went big,
defence wanted small;
prosecution, deliberate,
defence, not at all.

Court heard both sides,
playing role of the sleuth;
somewhere in the middle,
lay the actual truth.
Colour
Black beans, white beans took to law
disputing what they clearly saw,
their right to be regarded, seen
superior, the better bean.

The law was clear and neither bean
came out with credit, squeaky-clean
but this was still a running sore
so, black beans, white beans went to war.

Fierce the battle raged and long,
centuries, the same old song,
beans are better in my skin;
your beans need some discipline.

Not all beans though thought this way;
thinking beans had more to say,
long discussions held at length
about each other's failings, strengths.

To firm conclusions, gladly came;
black beans, white beans we're the same,
let's be a little gourmandise,
rub along like carrots and peas.
Solicitors
Vultures,
meticulously rummaging
at snail's pace
through the decaying carcass
of the old property.

Glorying
in the fleshy fragments
of unwritten agreements,
unsigned letters,
unregistered land
and sitting tenants.

Picking the bones
of wills,
affidavits
and codicils
until nothing
remains

but to
regurgitate the bill,
a noisome hairball
of legalese
and outrageous fees,
whilst the deceased
slumbers on,
mercifully unaware.
Asylum
Suffering
insanity.
What price
humanity?
As they sink
with their boat,
their last sliver of hope,
to the depths
of the sea,
they must wonder,
why me?
Dementia
I dreamed I was asleep
but clearly was mistaken,
as I showered in my undies,
I could smell the care home's bacon.

A woman with a badge on
was washing off my bottom,
I wish I was asleep,
my life right now is rotten.
The mistake
When I made the mistake
all foolish men make,
she said she'd forgive
and try to let live.
I'm entirely to blame
and I've lived with that shame,
gone way beyond tears
for thirty odd years.

The words stay unspoken
but the trust is still broken,
a malodorous sore
like a turd on the floor.
She is trying, I know
but she can not let go,
a silent portrayal
of my stupid betrayal.

It is tragedy, Greek,
it is broken Lalique,
never make that mistake
that we foolish men make.
Meetings
Got a problem to solve,
A hitch to resolve,
Get involved, stick your feet in,
Time to greet, call a meeting.

There's no need to slum it,
We'll call a posh summit.
Why rough it in Havering,
We'll fly abroad for our gathering.

We can sort any difference
By having a conference,
Make sure there's decorum
And have a big forum.

There could be provocation
At this next convocation,
It may get a bit raucous,
Shall we call it a caucus?

A convention sounds good,
The intention though should
Be to eat, wine and chat
Discuss, chew the fat.

Whatever we do,
We mustn't take action,
That would split us in two
And start a new faction.
Torn
This terrible rage
in the critical cage
of my mind
I find, needs to out
to tantrum, to shout
at the ones it holds dear
then, regretting the tears
sneaks, like a thief
back into its cage,
for an age.

The other half-me,
the one that most see,
is sweetness and light,
treats people right,
is a cowardly knave,
the other half's slave.
It needs to grow teeth,
find the courage beneath
the boldness to change,
kill the beast
in the cage.
Levelling up
We're building a high speed train link
to run between London and Crewe,
shorten the journey by seconds
and dubbed by the press HS2.

What about cities Manchester, Leeds
and your promise of boosting the North?
Way to expensive, we've cancelled those links
The North, I'm afraid, can fuck orf!

PROSTITUTE MURDERED!
She was a woman first
and a daughter,
rebellious by nature,
homeless from frustration,
a mother through carelessness,
an alcoholic by neglect,
a junkie via exploitation,
a prostitute from necessity
and was judged by us all.
Go for it
Ugg, this is brilliant,
I can throw my attire,
man, you're a genius,
the invention of fire!

Consequences though,
it might harm the earth.
Don't be a div, man
think what this thing's worth.

Now how about this,
I've invented a gun.
But have you considered
repercussions, my son?

This is amazing,
discovering coal
to power the planet
and sell the earth's soul.

Our inventions make billions,
we don't ever rue it,
collateral's for sissies,
go for it, do it!
Ten Climate Summits
Ten Climate Summits hanging by a thread,
Ten Climate Summits hanging by a thread,
And if one Climate Summit should melt into the Med,
There'd be nine Climate Summits hanging by a thread.

Nine Climate Summits hanging by a thread,
Nine Climate Summits hanging by a thread,
And if one Climate Summit should melt into the Med,
There'd be eight Climate Summits hanging by a thread.

Etcetera...

One Climate Summit hanging by a thread,
One Climate Summit hanging by a thread,
If that last Climate Summit should melt into the Med,
There'd be no Blue Planet and we will all be dead!
The Poppy
Centre, as black
as your unmarked grave,
petals as red
as the blood that you gave.
This small token
in remembrance of you,
and all fallen comrades,
a massive thank you.
Priorities
The time for weasel words, prevarication,
procrastination, has long past.
We need action, deeds, movement,
vitality, vigour and fast.
There is no time left to lose, our planet
is dying, we've let it,
we have to stop talking and act,
politicians don't get it.

The businessmen guarding their
interests absolutely should
consider what use any business
if earth is one humongous flood.
Health, education, economy,
everything must take a back seat,
our one prime objective,
has got to be curbing this heat.
Getting through
Bumbling politicians, specious statisticians,
Trying to make predictions and imposing their restrictions.
In and out of lock-down, a manic Hokey-Cokey,
A deadly It's-a-Knockout, will end up with us choking.
Each new wave increases, the death toll marches higher,
Keen, the race for vaccine, now spleen from vax deniers.

Health care staff are swamped, bosses deaf, not hearing,
PPE, not free you see, a chance for profiteering.
Families rent asunder, loved ones isolated,
Unnecessary blunders leave us all frustrated.
In all this sadness, madness, this muchness of a muchness,
Humanity, kindness will prevail, our basic human goodness.
Death by human
Singly it's a homicide, a murder,
gets you sent to purdah.  On mass,
massacre, butchery,
ethnic cleansing, genocide, inflicted
on oneself, then suicide.

State sponsored,
liquidation, assassination, legally
backed, then execution. Indisputably,
no gainsaying,
whatever way you look
at it, it's slaying.
Green thinking
The world's overheating,
We'll call a big meeting.
Meet up for a knees-up in Glasgow.
We will have thousands there
And we'll all go by air,
Not too hard on the carbon, heigh-ho.
Opinions
Opinions
divide us,
polarise people.

To raise
any topic
contentious
or otherwise
is to divide
opinion.
Those for,
those against.

Opinion though,
raises our awareness,
makes us think,
outside the box,
beyond the envelope,
through the blue sky.
It makes us
human,
in my opinion.
I am not my past
The litany of mistakes.
A horror show of fakes,
Too late on the brakes.
But I am not my past.

A houseful of lies,
Paths trodden, unwise,
Mistaken allies,
But i am not my past

Self-centred and vain,
Judgemental, profane,
A source of great pain,
But I am not my past.

Blind to your plight,
Swift to incite
But, now that I write,
No, I am not my past.
Wheels
A wheel, inside a wheel
Describes how I feel,
Was it part of the deal
To metaphorically kneel?
The Tosser
Some person should pay
a man, to take it away.
Oh, you don't live around here
so it's not your problem, dear.

Perhaps the wrapper weighs more
than the product it's for?
No?  You're lazy and cross,
well, that's a dead loss.

Let me tell you, I am crosser
so, don't be a tosser.
Take your litter back home
or be shamed in my poem.
Words
A poem is not a poem
without any tears,
we play it for laughter
or highlight our fears.

When we pen a song
we'll ride the white swan,
telling life as it is,
not sweeten the wrong.

The artist, the poet,
songwriters too,
listen that message,
we are talking to you.

Without that emotion,
the humour, the rage,
there is no connection,
it's words on a page.
Fame
Another documentary on Sky
has left me wondering why
the so called TV superstars
have less fulfilling lives than ours.
Don't get me wrong, they have their fame,
when they become a household name.

Those politicians, seventh sons,
business moguls, number ones, 
theatre stars and A list actors,
singers bound by common factors,
musicians driven, me, me, me
hosts on reality TV.

Comedians who just ain't funny,
driven by much more than money.
Watch their faces, manic laughter,
ask yourself, what are they after?
Remember Houston? Kurt Cobain?
If they could do it all again?

They have their jet, their fancy yacht
but search for something they have not,
the simple pleasures nature brings,
that joy of loved ones sharing things,
family, friends, a bold blue sky.
Would I like fame? No thanks, not I.
Getting Published
I have written a million words
and it's time for a publisher now
but why do I want to be printed?
I am not very sure anyhow.

My pension, it keeps me in beer,
Though never gone first class, of course,
I guess that my main motivation
is not for financial recourse.

I don't want my photo in lights,
much rather mix in with the crowd,
book signings and readings are out,
I'll remain in the shade, if allowed.

I would love a real book I could hold,
say with pride,"Look at this.I wrote that."
Then, when I say, "I'm a poet,"
they can not respond, "You're a twat!"
A picture of happiness
I used to
love that photo,
us, the two girls
and Bella with her tongue hanging
out the side of her mouth,
all sprawled, lazily
under the big oak tree,
by the lake in the park.
A sun soaked day,
on a perfect afternoon,
a picture of happiness.

Until-
until one day
my friend,
clearly embarrassed, said,
"I'm not being funny Jools,
but
have you noticed
where Dave
has got his hand,
it looks like..."

Oh my God!

Next
came the questions.
At first,
Tilly
didn't want
to tell me about 
daddy's little secret.
She thought
that she'd
be in trouble
for sharing.

The cops
were very sympathetic,
the family liaison officer
gradually coaxed
the whole
horrific nightmare from her.
That bastard
had
even involved
her younger sister.

We
are having counselling now,
me
and the girls,
individually and together.
It helps
but it's not enough.

And him?
I dream about
someone
slitting his throat
in the shower,
like in those scary
prison movies,
because God may
be able to forgive him,
but
I can't.
The Confessor
My dad
became a 'coffin confessor',
telling posthumous secrets,
and voicing previously unspoken opinions,
not for other people though,
for himself,
after he died.

What legacy then
did he leave
for me and my siblings?
A house?
Money?
A car?
A watch even?
Nothing.
He left us nothing.

Except that letter.
My dad, who called a spade a spade
and had a reputation as a hard ass
who beat his kids,
left each of us
a photocopy
of the same damned note.

It was a rant
about how we had offended him,
where we had gone wrong,
let him down
and why he was leaving everything,
every last bean,
to his friend.

A letter
from the grave,
how sick is that?
Why couldn't he tell us
face to face
and what happened to our right of reply?

If there is an afterlife
and I sure hope so,
then one fast approaching day,
I will get to look you in the eye
and ask you, "Why?"
You fucking coward.
Visionaries
The existence of a station
requires imagination,
to make the place a fact,
the train, the engine, track.

From fancy into flight
needs vision and foresight,
so let's have three great cheers
for our visionary peers.
Jam sandwiches and chip butties
When we were kids
we were poor,
Dickensian poor.
Food poverty
meant an existence
alternating between
jam sandwiches and chip butties.
Luxury was
bangers, mash and rice pud
on pay day.

One night,
I did a charity swim
at school,
which raised a few bob.
A fortune to us.
Mum asked me to lend her it
and she would pay me back
on pay day.
I did.
She didn't.

Was that stealing?
Probably?
Of course it was,
but a bigger crime
was not paying dad
a decent wage 
for policing the streets
of our dirty city,
so that he could feed his family
something other than
jam sandwiches and chip butties.
Fear
The old lady
who constantly frets,
surrounded by Asians,
feels them a threat.
Is she racist,
or is she frightened?

The teenage boy
who steals a blade,
his cocky stare
a masquerade.
Is he a thug,
or is he scared?

The parents who
sigh with dismay
at signs that their boy
may be gay.
Are they homophobic,
or are they frightened?

The abused child
who's been defiled,
for love becomes 
a paedophile.
Is he a sex offender,
or is he scared?

The lonely spinster
in her flat,
talking only to
her tabby cat.
Is she a witch,
or is she frightened?

The manager
who never doubts,
does not explain
and always shouts.
Is she arrogant,
or is she scared?

The kid who picks
upon the weak,
the way they talk
or look, or speak.
Is she a bully,
or is she frightened?

Ignorance feeds
our fear, I fear,
and makes us grow
a thick veneer.
Are we ignorant,
or are we scared?
Empty
She tried,
but her arms
were empty.

She cried
because her arms
were empty.

Another round
with her arms
empty.

Cold ultrasound
showed her arms,
empty.

Again she cried,
her arms
empty.

Metaphorically died,
her arms
empty.
Stress less
When problems amass
and it all seems de trop,
the answer sounds crass,
but we need to let go.

When everything's dark
and we've nowhere to go,
if we can't hit the mark,
we should go with the flow.

Worrying won't change
a single thing, so,
stop trying to arrange
and let it all go.
Pen v Sword
It's not for me, fighting,
I'll stick to my writing,
Discussion's the way to change things.
Not taming, inflaming,
Defaming or maiming
Or blaming, where mistrust begins.
Paralympians
Don't
define me
by my missing limbs,
categorize me
by my lack of sight,
or sympathize
with my uncoordinated movements.

See me
for what I really am,
the huge heart,
the steely determination
and the indomitable will
to succeed
and make the most
of this precious life.
Shame on you!
Do the well heeled celebs
who advertise betting,
ever pause for a moment
to think, where they're getting

the thousands they make
by encouraging bets?
Do they give any thought
to the man chasing debts,

who can't feed his family,
has nowhere to hide,
who ashamed and disgraced,
commits suicide.
Social Exclusion
The room is full,
everyone is talking
at once, it seems
a foreign language
I don't understand.
Mumbled nonsense.
I try again,
concentrating hard.
A little better.
A little clearer,
but still mumbled,
jumbled,
incomprehensible.

Someone makes a point.
I smile
knowingly,
inappropriately.
Draw the strange look.
Well,
I think,
welcome to my world.
The world of the deaf.
Afghanistan
Are we surprised the Taliban
impose an arbitrary ban
on women, doing little more
than cooking, cleaning, washing floors,
complying with Sharia law.

New found freedoms, now curtailed,
once again, their faces veiled,
'collaborators' thrown in jail.
Where for them, equality,
the simple things that you and me

take for granted, in our stride.
What of their hopes?  Their dreams?  Their pride?
Deserted by the Western world,
to Isis banners, shame unfurled,
into a heinous maelstrom hurled.
The Hospice
"Where is your neighbour?"
"Passed away, in the night."
"Bloody hell, that is awful!"
"Why, I'm alright."

"I got his sausage,
pinched from his plate."
"Sweet Jesus, dad,
he was your mate!"

"It was no use to him,
so why shouldn't I?"
Defiant, the look
left me wondering why

does it boil down to this?
We steal from the dead,
wait till they're gone
so that we can be fed.

Then it occurred,
that really he cared,
his bedside bravado,
meant he was scared.

The following morning,
my father had passed.
Who'd got his sausage,
I reflected, downcast.
Allahu Akbar
In the City of Love, barely six years ago,
Well over a hundred were slain,
But with so many atrocities since,
We needed reminding again.

How many thousands have died,
and how many more are to follow.
The depth of man's hatred of humans
Leaves me bemused, upset, hollow.

Then, lovingly gazing at you,
My heart fills with wonder and pride,
And I instantly know that it's true,
God is great. He's on everyone's side.
Suicide is painful
There are people who say,
confidently, no doubt,
that ending your life
is a coward's way out.

Well, I want to die
and for me anyhow,
the question's not why,
I need to know, how?

I could jump out in front
of a train or a lorry.
A traumatised driver,
I can't do that, sorry.

Or, shed my own blood,
a quick slash of a vein.
It would certainly work,
but I can not stand pain.

Throw myself from a cliff?
I have thought I might.
The logic is missing,
but I'm frightened of heights.

A handful of pills
and a bottle of booze,
seems a neat, tidy way,
with nothing to lose.

Though what of the ones
I am leaving behind?
Are they better without,
or is that too unkind?

And what about God?
If I cut short his gift
and he really exists,
he is bound to be miffed.

So, I'm not being brave,
really, I'm scared,
I would end it all,
but I haven't quite dared.

Don't try to tell me
it's the coward's way out,
I'm afraid you don't know
what you're talking about.
Scary Mary
Scary boys, though scary,
were not so bad as Mary,
the girl in our class,
who always played the ass
at secondary school,
the queen of all misrule.

She did as she wanted,
never got taunted,
till a boy thought he might
stand up for his rights,
so, she gave him a hiding,
left his ear in a siding.

Even our teacher
found nothing could reach her,
she was left on the shelf,
a law to herself.
What would become
of our troublesome chum?

I looked in her eye
today, sweet as pie.
she begged me for change.
I thought how sad, how strange,
drugs don't make you scary,
but lonely and wary.
Sorry
Her self respect,
bruised as her face.

Her hope,
absent as her teeth.

Her expectations.
bloodied as her mouth.

And her future,
black as her eyes.

She keeps returning,
because he loves her.

And he'll keep apologising,
until he kills her.
I would rather...
I would rather
forget about the virus,
pretend that it doesn't exist.
I would rather
people were equal
and treated each other with respect.
I would rather
we could survive
without material things.
I would rather
love
were the only thing that mattered,
and I would rather,
much rather
that you were still alive.

But none of this
is possible,
so, I will bubble along
inside my bubble
until finally,
it bursts.
Let them be
Don't fret
about the misplaced ring,
it is already lost,
or worry
about your job,
you retired long ago.

The shiny new car
on your driveway,
has rusted away
in the scrapyard.
That beautiful house
you scrimped and scraped to buy
is a pile of builders rubble,
and your delightful children
have become grandparents.

So, stop worrying
about things
that have already happened.
let them go,
let them be.
Go Away!
Confident
you've put it
to bed.
Your doctor
has weaned you
off meds.

Sure that
you're over
the worse,
depression
bites back,
like a curse.
All about me
It is
an illness.
Who, in their right mind
wants to feel
like this.
And that's the point,
I'm not.

But,
it is self-centred,
my right
to feel unloved,
and unwanted.
It's all about me.

That has to change,
for the people who love me,
need me even,
for those I can help.
I have to change,
before it's too late.
The trimmer
The other day, whilst writing, the television
had an ad which caught my peripheral vision,
extolling the virtues of an electric trimmer,
designers being clear it was not a him or
her thing, but targetted at the grump of the species,
which intrigued me, so I thought I'd take a look see.
Found the trimmer on their site upon the laptop,
not too expensive for a self inflicted crop-top.

And what is more, this electrical ware
came with freebies, to assist in shaving hair;
deodorant spray, cool boxer shorts, a shaving mat.
A mat for shaving, what the hell is that?
Then, the truth upon me slowly falls,
It's not to trim my face, but shave my balls!
If I want to sport a short Mohican look,
I can use my girlfriend's wax strips, or just pluck.
Big Cheeses
Too many powerful people, 
most of them somebody's son
think the answer to dealing with conflict
is found at the end of a gun.

Politicians who stroke their own egos,
les Grosses Têtes, and all the Big cheeses,
can't even find a solution
to nature's most simple diseases.

Money, that root of all evil
puts power in the hands of a few
who think nothing of murdering thousands
to succeed in their own bloody coups.

Ask any tinpot dictator
what weapon they hold the most dear,
to subjugate millions of people,
the essential ingredient is fear.

Religious cleansing and fatwahs,
genocide, fueled by hate,
minds of the masses polluted
by those who corrupt and dictate.

In terms of the life of our planet,
we've been on it a minute, at most,
if we don't stem this tide of corruption,
we may as well give up the ghost.
Judgemental
We throw up our hands in surprise
and the media tries to besmirch
the reputation of a whole country
because of the Catholic Church.

For all of the thousands of victims,
living inside and outside their border,
this is a global pandemic,
let's put our own house in order!
Toothless
You've interviewed me
because I have no teeth,
ridiculing the North
but you don't see beneath

my second hand clothes
or my care ravaged face,
your patronising words
are a bloody disgrace.

To you twenty quid
is a drop in the sea,
for me, it's a lifeline
and food for our tea.

You think I've no teeth
because I don't care?
You arrogant git!
I have nothing to spare.
Climate madness
Globally,
millions of frustrated,
law-abiding,
ordinary people,
for the first time in their lives,
are making a stand,
to protest the need for action
to halt climate change.

Internationally,
our governments
listen carefully,
consider
the wishes of their electorate
and the needs of our planet,
and plan to take action
to introduce new legislation
to stop the protests.
This ability
Disability
can make
even
a small task
remarkably 
difficult,
but
completion
of the endeavour
indescribably
rewarding.
Faith
Born
of a need
to understand
our origins.

The product
of vivid imaginations
and stirring storytelling.

Hijacked by kings,
and popes,
poets
and fanatics.

Sculpted
over history and time
into
indisputable, unquestionable,
definitive, watertight
truths.

A belief worthy of
death,
torture, mockery,
persecution,
martyrdom.
killing even.

There is
only one true religion,
one abiding faith.
The rest
are charlatans,
fakes.

Ask any supporter
of Liverpool F.C.
I can!
Decades ago,
a casual friend
and his beautiful wife
had an explosive argument.

In a heady mixture
of lager fueled passion
and crass stupidity
he threw himself
through his bedroom window,
landing fifteen feet below
in a shower of broken glass.

Luckily for him,
he learned to live
with his disability
and settled
fairly contentedly
into life in a wheelchair.
I could not.

In my darkest moments
I replay that loop,
a continuous 8-track of horror
as he jumps
through the fragile glass barrier.

Can you imagine my pain
if he had been a loved one
and not a casual friend?
If he had not been
confined to a wheelchair
but had died.
Can you really
imagine it?
I can!

I look at my partner
sleeping innocently beside me,
bend down to kiss her,
slip quietly out of bed,
and sneak a few tears
in the shower.
Pass the pasta
Farfalle, farfalline,
macaroni, rigatoni,
lasagne, fettuccine,
lumache, linguine.

Spaghetti, spaghettini,
tortelli, tortellini,
capelli, capellini,
ravioli, rotini.

Manicotti, tortelloni,
a-load-of-old-poni,
vermicelli, bucatini,
tastes-all-the-same-to-me.
Skin to skin
Show me a person
whiter than white
and I'll lay you a ghost,
or a diabolical black knight,
I'll tell you that most human souls
are a mixture of both.

Yes, some iniquitous, worse,
but I undertake solemn oath,
that good is ubiquitous.
As for being judgemental
based on colour of skin
absolutely bonkers,
mad, mental so
much better, win-win.
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