03 August 2015


the end of the road 

                              

                              

                            aphonia later

     throughout my life i’ve used a lot of words
              they’ve not been thrown away
                   i’ve valued them
           from the first halting infantile utterances
                to insults shouted at passing drivers
                       from debate to desire
                          i’ve needed them
            rolled their syllables around my tongue
                       like sybaritic jelly beans

                 i’ve wallowed in my overflowing vocabulary
                                       laughed 
  as the lathery lexicon splashed onto the floor
                          i’ve revelled in words
                             high-minded words
                                low-life words

                        go for your thesaurus you varmint
                  this town/village/city/conurbation 
                      ain’t big enough for both of us

                                       i’ve spoken
                                         loudly
                                         softly
                        loaded both barrels 
           with every type of adverbial buckshot
                          (or should that read bullshit)
                                     i’ve whispered
                                          cajoled
                                          ranted
                                        reiterated
                                      congratulated
                                               &
                                             even…
                                        ejaculated

                               


                                     i’ve played with words
                      their sound    their order   their meaning
                           i’ve kicked arse with a trochaic foot
                    words made me so hot 
                        that i thought i might
                         spondee-neously combust

                                   i’ve put words together with music
                                      let them split their differences
                                          and share the proceeds

                              then
                     so gradually
           that i thought it an illusion
                   my voice took a hike
                  my stentorian tones
                   became inconsistent

                                i could no longer sing
                               i became the old jokes
                never need to buy a pony   -   
                  my voice is a little hoarse
                           or a sled dog   -   little husky
                            (you get the idea i’m sure)

                                       my larynx
                                 was malfunctioning
                       you should see the hospital video
                      vocal chords are strangely vaginal
                             (yes i am aware
            that there is a joke waiting to be made)

                          i tell you this not to seek sympathy
                                       milton led the way
                           i considered how his light was spent
                                         then followed
                                      enjoying the irony
          of using words to bemoan my loss of them

                                     like so many little things
                                          my voice passed
                                           surreptitiously

                               i cannot remember my last shout
                                    or my last truly expressive
                                              verbal caress
            they were wasted because i knew i had more
                                    
                now i remain silent (or mime in noisy pubs)
                           while the world sings the chorus
                                             
                              i conduct my affairs
                           in an intimate monotone

                                               

                  yet still i hold words dear
                       to lose one voice 
      may be regarded as a misfortune
                    to lose ….  (…..  lautrec)

                      this has not been a lament
                             rather a celebration

                      if i have held your interest
                       my voice is as loud as ever
                                                                     
                                    if you have been  …
                                  thank you for listening


                             ………………………….


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13 July 2015

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
                                                             but
                                           she refused to go out with me

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

                                                       next time i tried to head pantswards
                                                           was with a trainee mycologist
                                                                        she said no
                                                                              (but
                                                                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)

                                                                     finally

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


                                                             ……………………..

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27 May 2015



                                      grandad

                        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

                                            now
                                     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

                                                            anyway
                                         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
                                                                       then
                                                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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