3. Seriously Hobbo!

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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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