17 June 2015

               christmas crackers from my love cv

                                                  when i was at school
                     i fell hopelessly in love with an agoraphobic girl in my class
                                           she refused to go out with me

                                                     first girl i tried to seduce
                                       was a radiographer i met at a hospital social
                                              she saw straight through me

                                                       next time i tried to head pantswards
                                                           was with a trainee mycologist
                                                                        she said no
                                                                did think i was a fun guy)

                                                 i searched high and low
                                        (biology was never my strong point)

                           not much I can say about my tryst with the olympic skier
                                 (things went downhill very quickly)


                                               late one frenetic light-filled night
                                            in a world of screams and candy floss
                                                i met a girl on a fairground ride
                                           we’ve been going round together ever since


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27 May 2015


                        parting from a loved one is never easy
                     and  so it was with heavy heart i made the call
                             asking them to take him away

                                      highland car crushers
                                         what a name huh
                            no effete euphemisms for these guys
                                no automotive afterlife implied
                                     just the facts
    we take ‘em
      we crush ‘em

      the ford granada*
       pejoratively but affectionately known in uk as the grandad
                               an ageing two litre armchair

                      it’s taken me on trysts tours and tourneys
                             been a gig bus and a builders’ van

                                     a little shabby
                                  transmission shot
                           too many miles on the clock
               (don’t even think it  -  i was there before you)

                                          after that call
                    i went into the driveway and took a few farewell snaps
                                          nothing arty
                            proper me ‘n’ my mate stuff

                                           i sat awhile

                         in the blue of the door panel
               i saw the flicker of a pair of finches on the lawn
                      the cat mirror-padded in the front wing
                  a spider spun a final web in a stationary wheel

                                      i went into the garage
                                   picked up a ragged tee shirt
                              came back and buffed up the hood

                                           then slipped in a cd
                                             and let that old car
                                   (full of music and memories)
                                      capture the scudding clouds


*I think the model was called a Taurus in some countries.
  I chanced upon the old picture and decided to re-post the poem.
Both were dated 2005 but the car was at least
10-12 years old by then and had 178,000 miles 
on the “clock.”



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18 May 2015

                                                         long distance

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                                        first light

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04 May 2015

              Isle of Skye  -  First of May 2015

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01 May 2015

               silver lining

                                   most days it doesn’t matter
                                      but sometimes i feel old
                                              i have grey hair
                               bin that way a good few years now
                                      never really bothered me

                                            lately it’s been getting kinda long too
                    i used to get sent to the barber when i was about thirteen
                    spend five minutes telling him what to cut and what to leave
                                                  i’d be one dandy dude
                                he’s just smile and give me a short back ‘n’ sides
                                       ….  my old man had got to him first

                                              it’s not some kind of samson trip either

                                                                    simple truth is
                                                                i like a lady to cut it
                                                                       last time
                                                             she gave me a crew-cut
                                                   but i guess that was two years ago

                                         it’s becoming a domestic problem
                                            nobody likes a hirsute hearthrug

                                                    a few weeks back i had a spring clean
                                                         damn near filled a hoover bag
                                                when i was taking that to the bin
                                           i ended up with hairs all over the garden

                                                        end of story really
                                                          i’m still hairy
                                                            still mortal

                                                                            then a while later
                                                                 i was pottering around outside
                                                                trying to avoid doing anything

                                                            saw a bird visit and revisit the hedge

                                                                   when i investigated
                                                              i found a chaffinch’s nest
                                                                they’re always beautiful
                                                          soft cups of love care and moss
                                                           but this one was also filigreed
                                                             with silver strands of myself

                                                                     soon it will be the scene
                                                                             of new life

                                                                             with wings

                                                               i drew a little solace
                                                                a little consolation
                                                                       from this

                                                                      if  a chaffinch
                                                    can build a crib from hair and hope
                                                                      there’s got to be
                                                   a gossamer ghost of a chance for us all


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22 April 2015

                                              son set

                                                      my mother
                                       (as mothers are wont to do)
                                                       grew old

                                             as a “boy” in my fifties
                    i would visit to talk of this and that and yesterday
                                          on many autumn evenings
                                         in the glow of burning logs
                                             we would play music
                                   she would plug in an old keyboard
                        which had once belonged to my daughters
                    (now hers by way of some emotional osmosis)
                              i would join in on wistful woodwind

                  we would begin with the hymns of her childhood
                                           how great thou art
                                             abide with me
                                             jesus loves me
                              i would lose my lack of belief
                              in the melody of the moment

                                             so often
                        we would graduate to our favourite
                                   you are my sunshine
                                  a simple soulful song
                                     on what once was

                                       as we played
                       she would sing a tremulous descant
                              there we were ...

              together in a chapel of firelight


Should you wish to listen to the song, 
here is a link to my favourite version  -  by Elizabeth Mitchell.


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21 April 2015

                        anemone of the state

                                low days come more often
                              with the lengthening shadow
                                 it seemed that way today

                                    i did my necessaries
                               the toast lacked crunch
    the coffee wasn’t black enough to match my mood
      blowing on old tunes simply brought back echoes

                                      the only thing to do was walk

                                            i merely trudged
                                   a head-down sombreshuffle
                                not looking and seeing even less

                                     i took the long road
                            down past the low-tide beach
                                 as i began to climb again
                           the colours caught my jaded eye
                               a bank rich in wild flowers
                              blushing wood anemones
                                i felt the hint of a smile
                                   almost against my will
      not quite enough to win my war with the day
                                  just a paean of petals
                                      a small victory

                              sometimes that’s all it takes

                                     a small victory



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