Google+ A Tangled Rope: 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Poem: Sunday Dinner (With Grandmother)


Sunday Dinner
(With Grandmother)

These formal situations.
We sit like disapproval,
Our backs straight as hard chairs.

Hands, an unnecessary indulgence,
Lie defeated and limp in laps
Like the vegetables set out
And accusing on the plates

Our eyes stare deep into,
As though they are pools
Feeding the secret rivers
Escaping underground to the sea.

Friday, May 28, 2010

In The Beginning


It was a small house, surprisingly small considering who the owner was. But despite the rather negative press He felt he had received over the millennia, He was rather a modest person.

He was sitting in the back garden watching over his universe. He had the viewer focused right down into a town square, somewhere hot by the look of it, although geography was far from His best subject.

Everyone in the square was wearing loose, flimsy robes and waving their hands, or fans, in front of their faces as they listened. The small crowd was gathered closely together, despite the heat, listening to the words of a thin, wizened man with a long flowing beard. The orator appeared to be naked, although the length and raggedness of his beard made it difficult to tell. The man's eyes were wide and staring, seemingly focused on some far distant place only he could see, with his hands making short sharp emphatic gestures, like someone miming how to disembowel a still-living octopus without it noticing, as he spoke.

The Old Man sat back in his sun lounger shaking His fist at the other old man portrayed on the screen in front of him. "I never bloody-well said anything of the sort!" He shouted at the screen. "I have never, ever spoken a single word to you. Especially not in your dreams!"

"Right! Right! That's it!" The Old Man whipped His hand out from behind His beard and pointed his finger at the orator. The end of His finger glowed blue then white.

"Calm down! Calm down dear," His wife said as she walked out into the garden. "You know how much you'll regret it afterwards." She sat down in the sun lounger next to her husband.

He recognised that look in her eyes and turned down the volume of the viewscreen with a click of His fingers.

"I've just had a call from your Great-Uncle," she said. "Our son is in trouble again."

"What's he done this time?"

"Apparently there was another Super-Nova last night."

The old man hid His smile behind His beard. "I'll... I'll have a word with him."

"It's time the boy had something to do, that's the problem. He's old enough to be brought into the business now." She looked at Him… waiting.

"But... but he's only a child. He isn't anywhere near old enough yet." He sighed.

"Not old enough! When was the last time you saw him?"

"I saw him at breakfast a couple of days ago. No... hang on... that was the cat. Hmmm...."

"Go on, tell me how old he is then?"

"Well, as we are immortals I wouldn't have thought it mattered all that much."

"It doesn't matter to you. You never remember his birthday. Omnipotent - ha! Don't make me laugh. I bet you can't even remember the day he was born."

"Of course I can remember the day he was born, it's as though it was only yesterday," the old man said, rising indignantly from His sun lounger. "How could I ever forget that miracle of life, of existence. That squashed-up face, that shock of black hair." He smiled and lay back down triumphantly on His sun lounger.

On the Viewscreen the ranting and raving man gesticulated frantically. The old man grinned and pointed his finger at the orator. There was a flash and the orator turned into a very surprised newt. The crowd scattered in panic.

"Our son has blonde hair."

"What?" He glanced over at His wife, and wished He hadn't. Her left foot was twitching. He gulped and nervously played with the hem of His garment.

"Well, who was that baby with the black hair? I can't remember what I was doing there for the birth of that one."

His wife stood up. "Well, I can remember it all! I've never been so embarrassed. That poor woman, why her husband let you get away with it I'll never know. Luckily those shepherds kept their mouths shut too, and as for those three so-called wise men... well." She walked off back into the cottage. She turned in the doorway. "At least you are a little better than that uncle of yours - a swan! A swan! I ask you. The poor woman could never look at a chicken in the same way again. They had to sell that poultry business in the end." She sighed and slammed the cottage door behind her.

The old man glanced at the screen. The confused newt still stood on the raised platform in the now deserted town square. The old man smiled as He saw a scrawny cat slowly creeping up behind the newt.

"That'll teach you to take my name in vain." The old man said to the newt on the screen as the cat pounced.

Friday Poem: Procession


[The Funeral of Queen Victoria - 2nd February 1901]


There is so much out there that does not chime.
We only hear the muffled, muted bells
As the procession passes down the street.
A stately slowness through the stillness holds,
The ominous and formal motion stopped.

We dream of distant lands of no return
Of death and deathly solemn rituals
As fingers touch unliving eyelids closed
And so the world is ended once again.

Amongst the leafless trees and silent birds,
We stand and watch the empty casket fill
The vacant hole, and then be buried, there,
In hearts as deep as unforgiving earth.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday Poem: In Too Deep


In Too Deep

[Italian/Petrarchan Sonnet]

A shallow water turns to deeper dark
And hides the mystery of depths below.
Beyond the reach the brightest light can show
There lies a world of darkness, cold and stark
Where death can lie in wait. A sudden arc
Of motion out from still, turmoil will grow
As shock of movement destroys the tableau,
Then leaving churning mud, its only mark.
The still returns, slowly, tentative, cowed
As time begins to wait again, until
A newer order grows from this discord,
All while the settling mud becomes a shroud
For life so brief before it could fulfil
The promising future a life affords.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Emerge Out Of The Undergrowth


Those moments alone when it seems as though the life that revolves around you is almost on the verge of making sense. A time when the path ahead seems to emerge out of the undergrowth clearly for the first time, and you are there, ready to take those first tentative steps.

It is quiet, peaceful. The only sound is the sound of your heart, tremulous with the excitement of understanding. Things have never seemed this clear before. In the past there was always the sound of other people, the sound of lives moving around you, sometimes colliding with yours.

Now though, out here, deep in the forest of possibilities, you stand alone. Even the persistent birdsong seems to have faded, as though some hidden hand of nature has lowered the volume just for you.

Then you prepare yourself for this new path, branching off the one that has grown so familiar. You pause to take one more look around this familiar path, noting the shape of the fallen tree that looks like a drowning man, its one remaining branch pleading up towards an indifferent sky. It seems almost as if it could be symbolic, but of what you don’t really know. Instead, you take one long deep breath and set off deep into the unknown.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sometimes The Words Are Not There


Sometimes the words are not there, waiting as usual for you to stumble out of the morning to meet them. The place where they usually wait for you is empty, deserted, only the wind is there, playing with the scraps of discarded paper you left behind last time, when there were so many words you left with your hands and pockets full, leaving a trail of dropped words all the way back to that tired old seat in front of your desk.

You sat there- grinning like a politician seeking a mandate – as you looked down on that spilling heap of words you had set down on your desk. Such a bountiful harvest, you didn’t know what to do with them all. You thought you would have more than you would ever need.

You were wrong.

You used up so many words, telling every woman you met how much you loved them, telling an indifferent world how it could learn to save itself, telling strange stories to those who sat with too much time hanging heavy in their hands.

Now, all your words are gone, and now you know what it is like to be alone and to have nothing left to say.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Poem: A Song


A Song


I hear the fading echoes of a song.
A song of loss, a song of defeat
And from a singer silent far too long.

A song to take us back where we belong,
To make us whole, to make us feel complete.
I hear the fading echoes of a song.

A song of victory to make us strong,
To feel our own so powerful heartbeat,
And from a singer silent far too long.

An all too human song of deepest longing
For life that time and chance cannot mistreat.
I hear the fading echoes of a song.

A song that we all want to sing along
While marching to its living drumbeat.
I hear the fading echoes of a song
And from a singer silent far too long.

The Quest For The Fabled Lost Source Of The Pork Scratching


So here we are: standing in the very place Peregrination Shoppingtrolley first stood almost two centuries ago when he discovered the fabled lost source of the pork scratching. For Shoppingtrolley, it has been a long and dangerous quest staggering from one pub to the next, struggling along side roads and canal towpaths with members of the exploration team often falling out of the pubs, missing the towpath completely and ending up in the canal or walking into bridges. Through such hazards, accidents and mishaps Shoppingtrolley lost several members of his team along the way.

Shoppingtrolley, a very experienced explorer, had long intended to set out on an expedition far into the deep heart of the mysterious Black Country with its strange network of canals, pubs and hot pork sandwich shops. It was a place where seemingly every third building along each of its narrow meandering streets was a pub. This fact alone was enough to inspire many previous explorers to visit the place, especially those noted for their thirst. But to Shoppingtrolley, it was the great mystery of the pork scratching that had beguiled him from an early age.

Many wise and ancient civilisations – quite naturally – worship the bacon sandwich as the true food of the Gods, but deep in the darkest heart of the mysterious Black County, so Shoppingtrolley had heard, was a tribe that worshipped not the bacon sandwich, not even the hot pork sandwich but another pork product instead.

Something, Shoppingtrolley, reasoned had taken this tribe from the way of the bacon into previously uncharted religious rituals and he vowed he would be the one that discovered the secret.

Eventually, though, just Shoppingtrolley, Spleen Humpbacked-Bridge and Fop Hesitation, the only surviving members of that ill-fated expedition made it to the lost city of Tipton and the fearsome Black Country tribe that held the secret of the pork scratching, hidden inside those forbidding temple factories that seemed to ooze the smell of cooking pork over the weary, but beguiled, explorers who could hardly allow themselves to believe their ordeal was finally over.

Unfortunately for the explorers, though, the secret of how the pork scratching is made is a very closely guarded secret. So when they managed to arrange an audience for themselves with the High Priest of the Holy Pig, to ask if they could witness how this most holy foodstuff is made, the High Priest of the Holy Pig could only answer as he, and all the previous holders of that post back through the mists of time back to he very dawn of the ancient Black Country civilisation, always have done.

‘Fuck off!’ he said.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Great Victorian Engineer And Inventor

Chainlink Foottreddle was one of the great Victorian engineers and inventors who first shot to fame as the inventor of the Hand-Cranked Wanking Engine. It was market as:

That invaluable aid for the solitary gentleman who finds himself without the aid of an upstairs maid, gentleman’s gentleman or common street trollop when in need of physical release - Ideal for dinner parties (after the ladies have withdrawn) and gentlemen’s clubs.


He was also credited with the design of the first bridge over the River Severn intended solely for crossings made by pogo stick. The bridge itself was a classic Victorian design and would have been a spectacular sight as its massive steel beams bridged the gap between banks at one of the widest points on the Severn. Unfortunately, in a rare moment of oversight, Foottreddle had not realised that the pogo stick was yet to be invented.

However, Foottreddle, despite his many successes, including his Steam-Powered Automated Lady’s Undergarmentary Removal system and his Toast Mesmeriser, was always thwarted by the one invention that always seemed to elude him.

As a typical Victorian gentleman Foottreddle was – of course – fascinated by prostitutes, the street whores, trollops, gay girls and so on that seemed to be everywhere in those days. Foottreddle was convinced that some sort of Steam-Powered Trollop Sorting Device would soon become essential for any gentleman wishing to peruse the carnal delights on offer in one of the many brothels that could be found in even the most mundane market town, let alone the big cities and - of course - the capital itself.

Unfortunately, however, Victorian England did not – at the time – have any standard measure for the grading of trollops, hussies, strumpets, or even floozies and the Imperial Slattern Measure was known to be widely inaccurate except under perfect weather conditions, even a slight drizzle was known to throw it out of true by a factor of ten, classing even a mildly-pleasant slattern as ‘Trouser-damagingly erotic, especially when utilising a pomegranate for the delectation of a gentleman’.

Consequently Foottreddle’s great machine never did get beyond the planning stage and a few half sorted strumpets in Hampstead. His dream in tatters, Foottreddle died a broken man a few years later in the upstairs ‘Gentleman’s Special Cucumber’ room at his local suburban brothel.

Although, supporters of Foottreddle lobbied for a State Funeral in recognition of his engineer genius, it was denied by the government of the day, and so – apart from a few specialists of the period his name was – until now – lost to history.

Friday Poem: Bare Rooms


Bare Rooms

We have nothing left to show each other
Except empty hands that can only make
These futile gestures towards the boxes
That now hold so much of our once-shared lives.

All our memories piled up in a few
Handfuls of photographs spread through the pages
Of albums we no longer can open
Or turn to in search of once-shared moments.

Here we go now, down the hallway again
And past even more useless memories,
On past far too many forgotten times
When we were together, then, but not now.

It is hard to find a photo of you
That does not involve me in some way too.
There are no photographs here to show us
How to walk away, how to be alone.

But now, I understand how to watch you
Walk away, leaving me to close the door
On every one of these empty rooms
That contained most of our life together.

Is this all? The empty air of bare rooms,
A few dusty old photograph albums
Are all that remain as I lock the door
On it all, and I too just walk away.

Government Plans Savage Frontline Cuts

According to an exclusive front page article in today’s Grauniad, the UK’s new coalition government is planning savage cuts in what the newspaper calls ‘vital local authority frontline services’.


As the article states:

Bicuspid Tenniselbow became the former government’s first official Government Underwater Diversity Awareness Co-Ordinator Czar when the minister for Making Everyone Exactly The Same noticed that some people – quite often from the over-privileged middle and upper classes of society - can hold their breath longer than someone from a more disadvantaged background.

Consequently, the full force of the Labour government immediately(ish) swung into action with the might of all its inept incompetence. It straightaway set up a multi-million pound enquiry into the vital necessity for the disadvantaged, those from officially-recognised minorities of race, gender, sexuality, species, hairiness and leggedness ought to have a great deal of money spent on attempting to bring their underwater breath-holding abilities up to levels that would be comparable to the best in the Western world.

It was soon apparent to everyone involved in the enquiry that if the UK was to have a breath-holding ability in its citizens comparable to the European average, then a massive database - and the multi-billion pound computer system to run it - would be needed. The database would need to contain the breath-holding abilities of every person in the UK and the rate of improvement in that score over time, weighted by class and officially-designated minority status.

First though, Bicuspid Tenniselbow, was appointed to her position, at a modest salary of £2 million a week, ready to oversee the new agency that would be required to make sure that everyone in the UK was tested for their underwater breath-holding abilities. The agency would then set about classifying the entire UK population into social status, sex, sexual preference, minority status and so forth ready for adding to the database as soon as it was up and running, or more likely up and limping badly; then, and only then would its great task of the most vital piece of post-war social engineering begin.

However, in an announcement by the new Evil Conservative dominated Stop Pissing Tax-Payer’s Money Up The Wall Committee, it was disclosed exclusively to this newspaper that the whole scheme will be abandoned before, as the committee chairman stated, ‘any more money is spent on yet another bloody useless government computer cockup’.

This stunning news about a threat to suck a vital frontline service has sent shockwaves throughout the entire local authority frontline Underwater Breath-Holding Awareness Co-Ordinator community, who fear that not only will their vital roles be savagely cut by this unfeeling Evil Conservative-dominated coalition, but more importantly the great strides they have made in enabling the underprivileged to increase their breath-holding abilities will be lost, possibly for a generation or more.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday Poem: We Want It Now


We Want It Now

The stars are out beyond, too far to touch.
We are here, too close together for words
To separate or destroy as we clutch
This too brief moment before the night turns

Its back upon us. Leaving us alone.
And dancing all around us are the songs
That led us to starlight and this unknown
So still moment that will lead us beyond

That room, those emptied glasses, talk and far
Too many slow sad songs to play us out
To where we can recognise every star
Before the sudden shock of mouth on mouth

And touch the warmth of someone else’s skin.
For once the fresher air will not help us
Nor make us wiser. What will here begin
Is a mistaken falling into lust

That both of us will often feel the need
To curse and to regret, to look back on
As years go by, and wonder at the deed
And what could grow from this small brief concord.

And, even though we both do know quite well
It is not what we want, we want it now.
We kiss as though beginning can dispel
The fear that this is something free of doubt.

You take my hand and lead me to your room.
You close your curtains on the watching stars
Before you turn and we meet in the gloom
Dispelling doubt within each other’s arms.

So eager for this you do not desire,
A need you feel but do not need, but now
We are together ‘til we quench these fires
That burn all reason and all our old vows.

So, even as you clothes fall to the floor
You look back at the door and wonder why
We are here, trapped together, washed ashore
In some new world begun anew tonight.

And then we fall apart to lie alone
But side by side, and knowing that there will
Be nothing said, except to now atone
For these mistakes we make by being here.

We wait for dawn to reach its fingers down
To pull us out to face the day’s sharp stare,
Apart again to meet the morning town
That does not know what happened here, or care.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Fading Wisps Of A Dream


There are those times when the mornings have gone off to later in the day and you are woken by an alarm that insists it is now morning, even though your eyes unwillingly open to the still dark of the night.

The world beyond the bed is cold and dark and here inside the bed it is warm with the heat of bodies breathing against each other and the feel of warm skin against you.

The clock glares at you, showing you how long ago you should have been gone from this room, already going about your day. The dog too, knows you dawdle, and is prowling around, eager to taste the first scents of a new day.

You wait though, as the fading wisps of a dream float around your head as you chase after them, knowing there was something important, something profound, lying at the heart of that dream the alarm tore you from, which would have explained so much about why you find yourself lying where you are.

That is, if only you could take hold of one of those few remaining wisps of the dream and reel it back into memory, but that dream has already gone, running from you like a prisoner breaking free of the walls as the alarm sounds.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The World’s Leading Professional Celebrity Trend Co-Ordinator

Shotput Covalent is probably the world’s leading professional celebrity trend co-ordinator. For those of us – obviously with far too much time on our hands – who have ever wondered how it is that certain celebrities seem to all flock together around certain events, happenings, fashionable charitable causes, sudden natural disasters and so on, this can all be understood by explaining Covalent’s essential role in the lives of celebrities.


Covalent’s job - or as he likes to see it, his noble calling – is to scour the millions of Press Releases issued each day, along with all the news events from around the world – especially those picturesque places with suffering natives that can serve as a back drop to the caring concern a celebrity wishes to project, and a thousand and one other such events, happenings and so forth.

It could be anything from an unknown struggling artist about to open their first show in some quaint backwater that would look good in a magazine spread, the latest in the most unwearable fashions to the latest African famine or Asian earthquake where there are thousands of small starving children desperate to be handed a bowl of rice by someone famous as the frantically strobing camera flashes almost blind them.

It is this ability to notice the latest natural disaster that Covalent regards as the most important part of his job. Wherever and whatever the disaster, Covalent sees that it is vital role to be the first to notice the catastrophe, and then be the first to get his client celebrities and the necessary camera crews, journalists, media advisers PR people, trilobite arrangement artists, masseurs, fluffers, toast-makers, make-up artists, hat appreciators, wardrobe consultants and so forth on to the very first planes out to the disaster area, in order to select the best of the most devastated backdrops and the pick of the cute but bewildered or starving wide-eyed children for his specially-selected celebrity to patronise, before the aid workers get there and spoil it all by attempting to make it better.

How It Is With The String Thing

Sometimes there is not enough string. Sometimes there is all the string you need. That is how it is with the string thing.


Sometimes you have a goat. Sometimes that goat is called Nigel. Often though, people don’t seem to think that Nigel is a good name for a goat. That is the way it is with people.

I have string and I have a goat called Nigel. That is the way it is with me. But, then, I also have a hat. The hat is not called Nigel. This is a simple peasant country village. The people who live here are simple peasant people. They think it is wrong to give your hat a name. So – while I live here - my hat does not have a name. That is the way it is with hats… for now.

So, now I live here in this simple peasant country village of nameless hats. There is a girl here. Her name is Steve. That is the way it is in this simple peasant country village of nameless hats, all the girls are called Steve. It can be confusing, but the people here live simple lives and they yearn for complication in their lives as we who live complicated lives yearn for simplicity. That is why all the girls living here are called Steve. That is the way it is with the girls living here.

I could tell you more about Steve, but if she found out about it she would not do the thing she does to me with the honeydew melon, the water bucket, the Dictionary Of Historical Place Names, the string and – of course - the hat that doesn’t have a name. So, being as I like Steve to do the thing to me that she does with the honeydew melon, the water bucket, the Dictionary Of Historical Place Names, the string and the hat that doesn’t have a name, I will say no more. That is the way it is with very advanced sexual naughtiness.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Poem: This is like Forgetting


[The Lovers: Gustav Klimt]

This is like Forgetting

In the darkness, we form shapes
Of lovers with our hands reaching
Out for the comfort of closeness.

Outside, the clouds grow darker
Heavy under the weight
Of all we have left behind.

This is like forgetting
We have only the names
We call ourselves now

As we close the curtains
And turn our backs
On the darkness of our skies.


First published: STAND Volume 5(2) September 2003

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Poem: Ghosts and Shadows


Ghosts and Shadows

We haunt this deserted landscape between
All the ruins of what were once our lives.
We have become mere shadows now, or ghosts.
What remains of us haunts these broken buildings

We become ghosts, pale and insubstantial
Unable to push against reality,
The solidity of this existence.
We seep through the world like liquid, like gas.

We move like silence between these still stones
And the empty spaces that still remain
To remind us of what was once our land
Where we are now only shadows and ghosts.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Britain’s Most Shaggable Trollop Award

Emblem Cleavagevoid was yesterday voted – for the 38th year running – Britain’s Most Shaggable Trollop in the latest readers’ poll for the UK’s top Lad’s Mag Stonker. Cleavagevoid who whilst still (a claimed) 21 (and a bit), said she was:

Like, quite delighted that I still give those young blokes who read… er… look at the pictures in the quality wank mags such stonking great stiffies!


Although rumoured to actually be older than Cliff Richard’s grandmother, Cleavagevoid’s extensive plastic surgery has meant that she has not seemed to age a day since she first shot to fame playing a naked corpse in one of the first grittily realistic TV detective dramas shown on colour TV in the late 1960s. From then she became a regular topless ‘Page 3 Girl’ in several of the country’s best selling tabloids, and – for a while – was seen as the wife or girlfriend of whichever First Division footballer was destined to be that year’s Player Of The Year.

Of course, as was de-rigueur at the time, she then stared in several low budget soft-porn ‘Sex Comedies’, such as the now-infamous Confessions Of A Wainscoting Aligner, where she played a bored sexually-frustrated housewife with a severely drooping damp-damaged area of wainscoting that the eponymous aligner came to fix.

After that she became a regular fixture as the barmaid, Gladys, in the short-lived BBC soap opera: Floaters, which was set in the exotic location of Tipton’s Public Baths and Swimming Pool, where she had a series of extra marital affairs with the lifeguards, pool cleaners and several of Tipton’s hedonistic jet setting millionaire playboys.

Now married to her 157th husband and living a quiet life in one of the most exclusive areas of Los Angeles, Emblem Cleavagevoid has proved that she still has what it takes to make the male underpants of this world suddenly become excessively tight.

Thursday Poem: Time And The Sky Revolve Around Us


Time And The Sky Revolve Around Us

The stars beyond the distance, everywhere
Too far away and nothing close to touch,
Beyond our grasp, and reach. We only stare
And long for hands that hold and comfort us.
A single hand can blot out night time skies
And take eternity away from us
To leave us here, retelling those old lies,
Which can no longer satisfy and calm.

The fading light creates so many worries.
We feel the coldness of distance so close
In those dark hours, and so we make up stories
To give us comfort under these dark nights.
Return ourselves back to the centre, still
The sky and time revolve around us once
Again, to know our place, all we fulfil
In our own minds by being at the heart.

We can tell ourselves tales to make the sun
Appear and winters run away to hide.
We can ascribe and see the patterns run
Where there is no such cause, or reason, just
The push of life to keep on keeping on.
There are no reasons other than this here
And searching brings no answers, no light shone
Into the darkness out beyond our touch.

A day begins, and later ends, as we
Remain alone inside the darkness once
Again. Although we do not want to be
alone, we draw the curtains against it,
So frightened of the dark and what it hides
And all it will reveal of our dark fears
That curl up all our nights to hide inside
The shadowed corners of our darkest dreams.

We make the monsters haunting all our dreams
And all the creatures hiding underneath
The night’s own heavy blankets that it seems
We bring out from the night to warn ourselves
About the dangers of spurning the real
And letting fear go crawling across us
While cowering here, too frightened to feel
The darkness holding all our secrets too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Time Takes Its Time


Ah, well, time is like that.

When you are waiting for something you long for, time takes tiny little steps. The clock stops between your every glance at it. The second hand waits for you to turn away before it joins the other two hands in a well-deserved tea break and – possibly – a game or two of cards, while you are away at the window watching for her to come walking down the street, seemingly oblivious to time’s great conspiracy against you.

However, when there is some dread thing standing just around the corner of your life, something you just don’t want to meet that stands bestride your calendar like some portentous dental appointment, you know they that time will skip, jump and leap towards it as if there were no tomorrow, which there soon won’t be because all those tomorrows that stood between you and your red-ringed date of destiny have all suddenly disappeared, faster than your spending money on a big night out.

Time will then suddenly leave you too, facing your feared moment seemingly forever, time will be off somewhere else, hurrying up someone who is late for an appointment, dawdling with young lovers as the mount expeditions of discovery over each other’s eager bodies, while you are stuck within a short moment of time that stretches itself out like a cat in front of a winter fire until it fills forever.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Through The Storms

The skies of our lives have grown dark and stormy again, now that our young days have left us behind. We no longer know where we are heading, all we do know is our once clear skies have grown heavy and dark with clouds that brood over us like the beards of angry gods. We do not know which way to go now.


We once thought that the path of life would go more-or-less straight from here to its eventual end with only a few bends, a handful of crossroads. Here we are though, lost deep within this forest, as the thunderclouds gather over us, with no idea which of all these paths we ought to take.

We are no longer sure even if we want to take the same paths any more. There was a time when it seemed we would stay on these same paths all our lives, occasionally standing at some distant crossroad off in the far future, watching as our children chose their own paths away from us. Neither of us expected to reach those crossroads so soon.

Now we sometimes seem like strangers to each other, like people we have met upon these paths and travelled with for a while, knowing that one day our paths will diverge.

Other times though, we look at each other and we know, that whatever storms will rain on us, we have been through such storms before and we have emerged out into a clearing of bright sunlight and clear cloudless skies, only to look down and find ourselves standing there hand-in-hand.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Poem: Broken Wing


Broken Wing

If there is a moment you call your own.
If there is a time you can hold in your hand,
Soothing the broken wing that had once flown
Far over these green hills where you stand

Looking out, over towards the distance
Where the land lies like a possibility
That would dance for you, entrance
You with its open ability

To become a world, just for you
To shape into this particular form,
Unlike this old world. Something new
That turns from this coldness to the warm.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Celebrity Extreme Gardening


Perusal Travelbrochure is now credited with bringing about the revival of what had seemingly become a moribund TV genre with her introduction to the early evening schedules of Celebrity Extreme Gardening. Most TV critics seem to agree that it was the sight of Mammary Extravagance, formerly a background character in some of the UK’s most popular soap operas, and several times winner of the prestigious Crime Drama Naked Corpse Of The Year Award at the BAFTAS, pruning roses under artillery fire that made the show such a hit with the TV audience. Other TV critics have also pointed out that Travelbrochure has learnt the lesson from that other famous gardening show populariser, Charlie Dimmock by making sure that her charlies are on prominent display throughout her on-screen time.

It is possibly the fact though that the so-called ‘celebrities’ who appear on this programme are constantly in danger of losing their lives in such situations as, for example: pruning their roses under fire from live rounds, attempting to irrigate their sweet-peas adjacent to a crocodile infested river, using their dibber in a minefield, and attempting to keep an allotment in bloom in an area where rival drug gangs are in constant dispute, that has earned the programme its rightful place at the top of the TV ratings charts.

TV critics say that is the possibility that a minor celebrity could be eaten alive, blown up into tiny bloody shreds of flesh, or mown down in a hail of bullets, and other such violent deaths that keeps the audiences coming back week after week. After all, most viewers seem to think, what does the loss of life of one from the seemingly endless list of minor celebrities matter?

The producers of the programme too seem to share the audience’s casual attitude to this potential loss of celebrity life, especially when it is stacked up against the show’s massive audience ratings, prime time advertising rates and a very popular merchandising range of everything from bullet-proof gardening vests to rebadged standard NATO battlefield hoes and riot-proof flowerpots.

Brown Refuses To Admit Defeat


In a speech yelled from behind the curtain at a open window in an upstairs room at 10 Downing Street, a defiant Gordon Brown refused to accept defeat in yesterday’s General Election, saying:

It is obvious from this result that the UK population doesn’t have the necessary understanding of how elections work for this result to be taken seriously. It is obvious that no-one really wants to choose the Evil Tories, so I can only conclude that everyone really wants me to carry on as PM, in order to save this country, just like when I saved the world from economic collapse.

Furthermore, when I promised that I would listen to the will of the electorate I had my fingers crossed behind my back, so, obviously, this election result doesn’t count and I can carry on as if it never happened.

It is vital that in these troubled times – which all began in America, and had nothing at all to do with me… honest – that continuity in government is maintained….

Listen… I have a whole stockpile of Nokias here, and I’m not afraid to use them!

So I’m not coming out…. Ever!

So there!

And you can fuck off away from me with those bastard microphones too!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Thursday Poem: Entanglement



It burns and purges deep the hollowness
That lies inside the pain of your recall.
To turn away and leave all your distress
Between these shadows haunting every room
Where you walk looking for a hiding place
Somewhere you can be safe inside the gloom.

You turn away from mirrors trying not
To stare too hard at your now-ageing skin,
Which was so tight, so taut and without blot.
In singing that old half-forgotten tune
You make the cold mistake of memory
In wishing to have something better soon.

Now there are ghosts out walking through these streets,
Entrapped down here by chained bodies and souls
So tattered and torn by all these defeats,
While they go floating free in dreaming times
Of their own creation, inside a world
They never leave, even as midnight chimes.

Not reaching out to touch the living earth,
Nor breathing under the strong warming sun,
That grows a life up out of each new birth.
Not moving through a land where they belong
As each new day comes falling slowly down
Around them, each singing their lonely song.

All they have is distance all around,
Voices from elsewhere calling out to them.
The siren songs, a cool hypnotic sound
All taking them away from now and here
And leaving their forgotten souls behind
To dance on through this deep entangling fear.

And there is nothing left behind, apart
From only these few stones left bare and cold
That tell no stories, still as you depart.
The time here, left to itself turning in
On itself, past and future tangling up
And twisting, ending so that it can begin.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

People Staring At Walls

Slopout Puddleduck first became a so-called celebrity through the C4 ‘Reality’ programme, People Staring At Walls, where ordinary members of the public are filmed 24 hours a day sharing a house where they all spend their time each staring at a separate wall in that house. Puddleduck shot to notoriety, if not fame, and achieved her coveted official bona-fide celebrity status, when she accused another contestant, Spud Torpor, of staring at Puddleduck’s wall instead of his own.


At first, the tabloids were all against Puddleduck, accusing her of being a vicious howling she-chav with no redeeming social skills, loveable working-class charm, or willingness to get her tits out whilst staring at her wall. However, when the video replay evidence was shown, it revealed - to the shock, horror and consternation of the whole of the UK – that Torpor had – indeed – been staring at Puddleduck’s wall in direct contravention of the programme’s strict, but totally arbitrary, rules.

Questions, of course, were asked in the Houses of Parliament, and the Prime Minister himself promised a full independent investigation into the whole affair and the producer of the show was sacked, then tarred and feathered when cornered by a mob of outraged fans of the show.

The independent investigation, under the chairman ship of a retired judge, Lord Justice Doolally Bedwetter, took twelve years, cost 200 million pounds and produced a report nearly 2 pages thick which severely criticised the programme makers themselves for filming in a specially-constructed house which made all the walls all far too interesting for people to stare at.

The report recommended that everyone involved in making the programme should pay a fine of £25 000 pounds each, paint their left knee yellow and spend 7 years on the Naughty Step at C4’s London headquarters.

These days though, Puddleduck is mainly famous for marrying, and then acrimoniously divorcing, several Premiership footballers, and is now mainly seen photographed leaving expensive fashion designer shops with an armload of carrier bags. However, it has been rumoured that she is set to be one of the celebrity judges on BBC 1’s forthcoming early Saturday evening talent show where Andrew Lloyd-Webber searches for a new singer to star in his forthcoming West-End musical - which he hopes will be as big a success as Cats - based on The Rats by James Herbert, entitled Singing In The Sewers.

Turner Prize Outrage

There was shock and outrage yesterday when the Turner Prize shortlist was announced and there seemed to be nothing on it that caused any shock and outrage in the UK’s tabloid press.
A spokesman for the UK’s tabloid newspapers said:
This is absolutely disgusting. In the old days the Turner Prize used to almost guarantee us headlines for several days about how absurd it all was, and how so-called modern art was rubbish and the sort of thing a 5 year-old could do.
So, we got plenty of page-fillers about it, our readers would feel that they’d had their prejudices confirmed and that modern art was really a waste of time and some huge con-trick. Meanwhile the Turner Prize itself would get loads of publicity, the artists would get plenty of media attention, especially from the broadsheets, because the posh papers love to pretend to love anything that the tabloids despise, whilst secretly being jealous of their readership figures, the art lovers could all feel smug and superior to the bourgeois conventional reactionary tabloid readers and… well, we all knew where we stood and we all got something out of it.
Now, though, it is just dull stuff, one or two of them are even painters, it seems. There is some little hope, though; one of them – I think – films herself singing under bridges, but without the traditional filthy overcoat stuffed with old newspapers, heavily matted beard and several cans of Special Brew, so we might be able to get something out of that.
However, as an independent art critic, Pointless Daubings, said:
Although, the Turner Prize does, this year, fail what seems to be its main purpose, in annoying what it likes to see as the philistines who live outside the cosy self-contained, self-absorbed and self-referential ‘art’ world, I think it is safe to say that this year’s list does continue the great Turner Prize shortlist tradition of only promoting tedious art school head-wank.
Having said that, though, there is a common position in modern art that says ‘if the artist decides it is art, then it is art.’ I would add to this the proviso that ‘if the viewer of that piece of art decides it is a load of old toss, then it is a load of old toss.’

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Spread Over The Toast Of Our Day

Even when the moments of our lives are like the double-glazing salesmen of doom, hanging around our azalea beds of despondency there is still time for those first buds of the spring to take our marshmallows far from these forgotten TV schedules of the heart and turn them into the teacakes of a new dawn, whilst also providing a new pot of tea.


A nice cup of tea is all that is needed to take the day away from such forlorn despondency and to awaken us all to the joys of the toast that is yet to come.

The marmalade of possibility stands on the breakfast table of our hopes and dreams, to make the toast of our mornings glow with the delights of a thousand chunky orange suns.

The butter of times yet to come stands waiting too for the knife of all our longings to spread it out over the toast of our day. The dark uncertainties of night have faded and gone, like the burnt toast of all our secret nightmares.

We have a day waiting for us and it can only contain more toast and further nice cups of tea, and how could life ever get any better than this?

We have seen the future and it tastes of toast.

Beginning Again

I am starting to feel like a poet again, after so long. For a long time now, I have drifted along on the edge of being a writer, going through the motions, putting the words down on the page. Now though I am beginning to feel that connection to the words again, feel that they are a part of me in the way that a craftsman’s tools are part of him. External, but with the force of creation flowing through them, as though they know what shapes lie within each piece of wood, stone, or other material, that lies there waiting for those tools to disclose it.


I am – once again – beginning to feel the words out there in the world, waiting for me to discover where they lie within all that is around me, all I have to do is perform the rites that will bring those words out from where they hide to have them resting in my open palms.

Then I can take each careful word and place it amongst its kindred spirits where they will draw strength from each other, give each other the support they need to stand together against this wordless world.

Together the words and I will go out to face the coldest winter winds, the harshest summer suns, safe in the knowledge that we understand the power of each other’s magic.